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Mar 7, 2008

Drugs are the Only Answer

. Mar 7, 2008


I am escaping reality at the movies, thrilled to get in under $10 with the matinee price. Loads of children jump and bounce around their adults, waiting in line for “The Spiderwick Chronicles”, I presume. An odd sound rings out among the usual noise kids make. It is shrill and repetitive, like a high-pitched bark. Turning, I see a tall boy, early teens, standing at the end of my line with an older male teenager. They look similar enough to be brothers. Both are dark-haired with big brown eyes.

The older boy stands still, arms crossed, looking down. The younger one twitches, his head and right arm jerking sideways every few moments. Occasionally he jumps forward a little. The sounds he makes are loud and gathering attention. Each time he yelps and says, “RoooOOO!….bap, BAP!” a few more kids and adults glance back at him.

My line advances slowly. His noises continue and other conversations are falling silent. Some children stare wide-eyed and parents nudge their heads back around, away from him. I look back once more. His companion peers toward the parking lot as his brother jumps and barks.

A little girl and her mother wait behind me. They are white and both blond. The child’s long hair is tied in pigtails. The elastics have big red plastic cherries that shine bright in the sun. She's five or six years old. Clutching her mom’s skirt, she wraps around her and looks back at the boy. Her mother also glances back at each noise:

Daughter: Mom, why is he saying that?
Mom: I don’t know, Ashley.
Daughter: What is he saying?
Mom: Who knows. There’s something wrong with him.
Daughter: What’s wrong with him?
Mom: How do I know?
Daughter: But what happened to him?
Mom: (sighs) You know what? His mom probably took drugs and messed him up.
Daughter: (silent)
Mom: See? See what drugs do? Aren’t you thankful I didn’t do that?

It’s my turn to buy a ticket. After paying, I look back at the two boys once more. An older couple has joined them. The woman holds her back with one hand and pats the younger boy’s shoulder with the other. The man is giving the older boy some money. After a few moments, the adults turn to go. Each takes one of the younger boy’s hands and lead him away. He doesn’t go willingly. The older boy moves forward in line without looking up.

14 Whispers:

Interactive Marketing Agency said...

Wow. It completely blows my mind that a mother would say that to her daughter. Now she will probably conclude that everyone who may have a mental illness is that way because their parent/s abused drugs. Incredible.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Mommies Mommy took drugs --
that would explain "some" of her stupid remark. Carol

C. R. Morris said...

:*-( It amazes me that some people have no compassion. How about offering the parents a kind smile? Something that says, "it's OK?" Our church is new with no nursery. My three year old is loud every Sunday and I want to run out into the parking lot and hide. My pastor's wife put her arm around me and assured me that they would rather have us there and his "little boy noises" than not at all. My mom never would have said anything like what that mother said to her daughter.

Angie said...

Ouch. Sometimes I exaggerate the truth of a situation to make a point to my kids.

Maybe he wasn't wearing a helmte? (when seeing an ambulance for example)

Never at the expense of someone's dignity.


The Craigslist Experiment said...

I tend to agree with Angie. Sometimes we say things to our children to emphasize a point. However, in this case I tend to believe that this woman was simply uncomfortable with the situation. Many people are uncomfortable around individuals with a mental or physical disability, and explaining it to a young child that wants to stare is difficult. I don't condone her behavior though.

Grumpus said...

Blaming something on drugs is a reaction that allows one to remain comfortable in the face of discomfort. Easiest to think that somehow a bad situation is "deserved", in some roundabout way. At least there is a sort of ham-fisted justice in that notion. Much easier to think that, than accepting the possibility that perhaps nothing at all was "done" to create the condition. I know not every comment a parent makes can be fairly held up to scrutiny but this one seems so mean-hearted and dismissive.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Wow..this is a reminder to pay attention to what we pay attention to our childrens questions and answer them with compassion..and not to be so busy or caught up in our own little world that we spout of something as hurtful as this mom did.


Vienne said...

Hi all and thanks for your thoughtful comments.

CR, sounds like you belong to a nice church. How great that members make you and your son feel welcome inspite of his "self expression" ;)

Angie, 'ouch' is right.

Grumpus, I think your word 'dismissive' best describes the tone of the remark. I sensed the mother really did not want to be there at the movies in the first place and the child's questions were just grating on her nerves even further. I don't care how tired you are, pull it together enough to explain what needs explaining. That's how I see it.

Hello Lisa, as you know I don't have kids yet, but whenever I overhear a conversation involving a child I'm reminded how influential parents are. As you say, pay attention and answer with compassion.

job said...

need to be extra careful when you talk with kids..their mind is so fresh,they just take everything in..

CastoCreations said...

Yeah...what if he had Tourettes?!? Sheesh.

skip said...

yup im agree with the way, drugs no good.all we have to do is having faith in our lives~

erp said...

Such a nice mom who actually let him do drugs. I'm pretty sure his dad never beats him up.

Safa Tharib said...

interesting stuff

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