One of the best days of my life was the moment I busted my daughter with pot. It was not only moment of reflection but also a wakeup call.
I looked at my daughter, this child standing before me who suddenly seemed a woman—all 14 years of her. Gosh, when did she get so mature looking? She stared back at me with wide eyes—scared and worried. She tried to lie, but before her, I held out the evidence. Once she saw the joint in my outstretched hand, her story fell apart.
I had two choices.
I could lose it on her and tell her how badly she screwed up, how ashamed and disappointed I was. Or I could stop and make it about her, look at her—I mean, really look at her—and open that door.
Ask her why. Share my stories, and share my soul with this child turning into a woman. Love her, hug her, save her. And that’s just what I did.
I had no plan going into this. Okay, that’s a bit of a lie—I really wanted to teach her a lesson! My first instinct when I found the joint was to yell, scream, kick … whatever it took. But some rational thinking replaced the powerful urge. What would I want if I was her in this situation? What would I do if I were her? I softened as I looked at her.
In that moment, I realized that I had been given an opportunity. Until then, my daughter and I had been going through the motions of mother and daughter. We were not connecting. We argued often over nothing and everything. Other than these tense exchanges, I didn’t pay much attention to her, unless she left her dirty dishes lying around.
I guess I just hoped, prayed, and trusted that she was doing the right things. My random scowls with sarcastic remarks made me hopeful she was getting the point. I thought scaring her was the way to do it—just enough scare to make her think about the sort of choices I’d want her to make. I was so naive! I didn’t believe that my daughter was old enough to experiment with drugs and alcohol.
The day I found my daughter’s pot saved our relationship, and I am so grateful.
Without knowing, my daughter did me a favor. She gave me an opening, she showed me her world, and she needed me.
Getting to know her all over again has been an experience I may have otherwise missed out on, and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. I am in no way suggesting the use of pot or that a joint will solve every mother-daughter relationship. But what I am saying is, “Wake up! Take note.” Our daughters need their mothers just as much as we need them. And every day is an opportunity to grow and to learn with them.
This world is forever changing—what was once difficult for us, like getting pot, has become easy and accessible to them. And the speed of information has dramatically increased from when I was my daughter’s age. I can’t even comprehend a day in the life of a teenager today.
Ultimately, here’s what I learned. Booze and weed are the least of our worries. The biggest investment into their future is our communication with them.
Don’t wait for the pot to show up—talk, talk, talk, and then talk some more.
Show some interest, ask them questions, and share. Support them and, above all, love them.
Even when they leave their dirty socks on the living room floor.