The New Year's Eve I Quit Smoking Pot
Having been a moderate pothead in college and during my 20s, I found it hard to give up the recreational high. I stopped smoking marijuana when I was pregnant and nursing, but would occasionally take a puff when I was writing poetry (partly supported by a literature grant) and my young son was at preschool. My unwritten, unspoken rule was that I would not smoke pot unless I had a 4-hour stretch without children around, and that only one of us -- my husband or myself -- could smoke pot at a time in case of an emergency situation.
We had a New Year's Eve party at our small home when my son was five. He was staying overnight elsewhere. About halfway through I was upstairs and bumped into a friend coming out of the bathroom with whom I used to get stoned before I had a child. He confessed he had a joint left over from his high school reunion he had brought with him. We went in the bedroom and lit up. After my second toke he said the last time he had smoked the same weed the friend he was with had seen God. I stopped giggling. That was not the vibe I was looking for while hosting a New Year's Eve party full of the parents of my son's kindergarten friends. Back downstairs, we had fun dancing, but I realized if I did not keep my eyes on my friend, who was just as stoned as I was, I could not act "normal." I was hopelessly paranoid, knowing that he and I were the only people who were stoned and realizing that this was no longer the thing to do now that I was a parent.
By the time the party was over I knew I'd never get high again. It wasn't worth the anguish of imagining what my son would think if he understood what was going on, or of the possibility that he might lose friends because of my actions or behavior. It was time to grow up. Everyone else had.