Wednesday, March 08, 2006
You are a pirate!

Yeah, so yeah, it's been a week, eh? So sorry. Guess what I'm going to say...Yep, been busy.

So I went to this training last week for a volunteer thing I'm going to do for church. It looks like it's going to be lots of fun. I'll be running a support group for elementary aged children to try to keep them from using drugs and alcohol (hopefully later in life!). I'll be teaching them about self-esteem and the like with faith-based activities. It's something that started in Texas, Dallas I think, and has been really successful out there. I'm really looking forward to it. I hope I do well. I'm even going to try to get the older kids version and get them to use it at DJJ with the juveniles out there. I think it could really help some of them. Wouldn't that be fun!

So, while we were there, I came to a strange realization. We were talking about kids and how they start doing stuff that's bad for them b/c they think other kids are doing it. The training lady was telling us about a survey done on middle school kids that said that really high numbers would think that other kids were having sex, or doing drugs or whatever. However, when they could anonymously say whether or not they were having sex or doing drugs or whatnot, very low numbers actually were. Therefore, they perceived that the cool thing was to do drugs and have sex, when actually no one was even doing it!

This all made me think about myself in middle school and high school. I think middle school was about when I learned was sex was. I was 12, and we had to take sex ed. I learned the technical stuff, and a little about people doing it. At the time, though, the thought of actually doing something like that was VERY far from my mind. I certainly didn't think other kids were doing it! For that matter, I'm not even sure I knew what drugs were in middle school! I knew what alcohol was, but that's b/c my dad is an alcoholic, so you know, I kinda had no choice there!

Anyway, I kept thinking, and until sometime around my Junior year in school (my last year of high school), I didn't think kids were doing drugs, either. I didn't think kids really drank until about my Sophomore year, and that's only b/c we tried it once for fun. I just always figured that was a thing for adults, and that one day when I was 21 I would drink if I wanted to. Now, admittedly, once the end of my
Junior year came along, I jumped on that bandwagon (although just barely...I wasn't all into the whole drinking/drug scene like most of my friends were) and did my share of the bad stuff. I quickly learned it wasn't for me, though. How on earth, though, did I manage to make it so long before I realized that the stuff was even out there and that kids were doing it? I mean, why didn't I think other kids were doing that stuff in middle school like all the other kids?

I know a little bit about why now, and why I decided I wasn't meant to be a druggy/alcoholic. Our trainer told us that every year you can keep a kid from trying that stuff is that much closer to them not becoming abusers or not using it at all. She said, as well, that the longer you can hold them off, the more brain cells you can save. Amen to that, brotha! I thought about my brother and myself. He started smoking around 12 or so, I think, experimenting in his room and lying to Mommy and Daddy. (I'll never forget Daddy coming into his room, having just finished a cigarette, and telling him not to smoke!) I know around 13 or so he started messing with pot, and he got drunk during that same year when out with my friends (at which point I did not!). It was all downhill from there, and to my knowledge, he hasn't really stopped too much yet. I think he mostly just drinks now, but it's still a really, really bad habit! I, on the other hand, had one night of drinking two Zimas when I was 15. I was trashed, sad eh? I may have had a drink or two after that, but it wasn't until I was 16, almost 17, and started taking Robitussin with my brother and friends that I actually started doing anything bad. I did that for a short time and decided it sucked. Later, when I hit college, well, you know how that went. I mean, come on, I had no choice! I'd just moved out on my own, and I HAD to drink to ummm, yeah, I have no idea why! Still, it didn't last, and thankfully I can say that I drink now on occasion, but have never been and never will be an abuser of any substance (besides coffee), despite the very, very, very addictive personality that I inherited from both sides of my family.

Neat, huh? I'm so stoked about hopefully helping lots of little people to stay off that crap. The age range for the program I learned to facilitate is 4-12. Yep, that's right, 4 years old! So, just like the commercials say, it's never too early to start talking to your kids about this stuff. I can't wait till TJ is 4, b/c I'm gonna get him in it right away.

Speaking of TJ and possible alcohol/drug abuse, I was thinking about that last night. A friend/coworker of Trey's died the other day in a drunk driving accident (his fault), and it made me get to thinking. I starting imagining what his mom must feel right now. He was only 24 or 25, and his life was really just beginning. I couldn't imagine losing my son at such a young age, and especially in such a horrible way. I thought about what it might feel like if that were TJ, and it
almost killed me just to think about 22 years from now and that happening! I swear, I love my children to death, but having them is about the scariest thing in the whole wide world to me. I don't live in fear of them getting hurt, but things like this really make me think about what could happen to my own. There's only so much you can do to protect them, and sometimes the world just takes over on its own. It's so scary.

Okay, I suppose I've gone on enough about the worries of life, eh. I hope you are having a great day, and I'll see you soon!
posted by Christi at 3:14 PM | Permalink |


  • At 6:27 PM, Blogger Kurt

    I didn't have my first beer until I was 18, you animal.

  • At 10:20 PM, Blogger Julia

    It sounds like you're doing a really great thing. I'd love to hear more as you get more into it.

    I knew of a few people having sex in middle school, but they always seemed like the kind of people who had something wrong with them. Then in eighth grade, I found out that two girls who had been in a bunch of our classes and seemed pretty normal had sex with high school boys. I was scandalized. By my senior year I felt like almost everyone was doing it.

    For me I felt like my drug use was less about peer pressure and more about boredom, and it was a fun thing to do that was easy. I guess if there was negative peer pressure, and I was ridiculed for smoking pot, maybe I would have quit. Richard told me he didn't like who I became when I was high, so I quit for love. :)

    Did you really not learn about sex until sex ed? I learned in second grade from some "really cool" fifth graders that lived on my street. One of them said, "I heard that kids in middle school are doing it." The other replied, "You mean IT?" Of course I had to know what IT was. I begged them to tell me, and they made me promise not to tell my parents that they told. I thought it was really nasty. So of course, I had to tell my five year old brother. A few days later my mom told us about it, and I had to act like I didn't know because I promised I wouldn't tell her. I'm assuming she brought it up because Micah probably told her what I said.

  • At 9:47 AM, Blogger k8

    sorry i didnt email u back. i suck. i have been suuuuuuuuuuper busy. i love you desperately.

    i drank a little in high school- peach schnapps with oj or bartles and jaymes wine coolers and ciggies.

  • At 9:51 AM, Blogger Renee

    Hey, what size will the little Miss be in this summer? I have clothes to give!:-)