The Kid who O-D’d

Be LegendaryMy son’s best friend ended up in the hospital last weekend. He’d taken some pill, he mumbled. And then he was falling down in class. Talking gibberish. Having hallucinations. Passing out.  Soon his dad came and he was rushed away. Some pill. Nobody seemed to know what. My son was shaken. Rumors spread. His friend’s father, a police officer, came back to the school frightened and enraged. “Who gave my son a pill! Who did it?! What was it?”  My husband, summoned by Simeon, was also there. Listening. Comforting. Asking questions. Nobody had answers. Or no one  who had them gave them.

This is a good kid. I take him to school with my son almost every day. I know his dad. He calls me mom. And that morning, like every other morning he seemed just fine. I kept asking why. Why did he take it?  What was he thinking? Didn’t he know better? What went wrong? What did my own son know? Lot’s of questions.

But an interesting thing happened.  My husband had come by my job after leaving the school to give me the news. He was distraught. So was I. And as soon as I went back into the office I went looking for cookies. No big deal, right? I was upset. Frustrated. I needed a cookie.  Because I wanted not to feel so bad.  It was a couple of days later that it hit me — when I felt bad I went looking for something to take so that I would feel better. Just like my son’s friend. Sure mine was a cookie and legal. But whenever I look outside of myself for some THING to take to feel better I’m engaging in the same kind of activity.  I know — it sounds like a stretch.  But I’ve been thinking — the best way for me to teach positive choices in the face of  stress, pain or difficulty, is to model positive ways of dealing with them.  Positive actions, not negative ones. So, I’ve determined to pray when I feel stressed. To make a conscious effort to be still and say a prayer instead of reaching for something that doesn’t serve me.  No this doesn’t solve the problem. But it’s a start.  The best way to teach our children that there are positive ways to handle stress is to handle it positively ourselves.

My son’s friend was back in school this week. “How’s it going for him?” I asked Simeon. Any consequences from the administration? ” Sim said, “Mom, he’s not a pill popper! He hurt his shoulder in football practice and he was just looking for something to help it feel better.”  “Oh,” I responded. “Well, what about the other kids?”  “Well,” he said, “They all are calling him ‘the kid who O-D’d”

This is my prayer to deal positively with stress: “May we be filled with loving kindness. May we be well. May we be peaceful and at ease. May we be happy.” Thanks Ifetayo!

The picture is  from Coca-Cola’s 2009 Black History Campaign


6 thoughts on “The Kid who O-D’d

  1. I just found your website after doing a search on Gullah Gullah Island (my son loved watching it when he was little). We came across it on TV (up late trying to do schoolwork)

    So great to read your writing. How quickly kids can jump to the wrong conclusions before knowing the details. Also makes you think of what we go to when we need to feel better as you mentioned. May have to use this during our Youth Group discussion this week.

    Putting this in my favorites so I can read more when I’m not suppose to be doing my schoolwork.

    • Dawn,
      thanks for commenting. Yes, I still struggle with modeling what I teach and I as I help my son deal with the things in his life I see that they often reflect my own stuff… But we’re always learning and growing and that’s a good thing!

  2. I just discovered your blog. My 13 year old daughter loved your show when she was little, and I just showed our little girl your show for the first time…we all enjoyed it.

    I have gone back to college to earn a degree in early childhood education, in part, because of how your show moved me to parent my children to become active learners. It was because of the colors, music and focus on personal responsibility that drew me in as a parent.

    As my teenager moves toward adulthood, I also worry about her safety and decision-making. I also try to model positive attitudes and decisions. What I try to focus on is that we may not have the ability to control every situation, but we always have the ability to control our REACTION to any situation. Personal responsibility is the key, and she started learning that in kindergarten!

    • Hi Allison, Yes that’s the most important lesson. You sound like an excellent mom! Now if I can only remember that lesson myself… Thanks for writing. I’ll be updating my blog any day now!

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