My mom called me the other day and put my son on the phone. She said he had a question for me. His little voice lit up my day and I heard….”Ummm, mom? How do you smoke?”
He’s three and only been around a few people that he’s seen light up. My family are not smokers, but my neighbors do it on their front porch. My husband has a couple of family members that do it, but go in their garage to keep the second hand smoke from endangering the rest of us. So needless to say, he’s probably only seen it a couple of times in his little life, but was obviously wondering about it.
I asked him who he saw smoking and he mentioned my nieghbor’s name. I told him that I was proud of him for asking me that question and encouraged him to always ask me anything he had on his mind, but that we didn’t smoke and he should never try it either.
He asked why, and I told him that it would make his lungs black and would make him very-very sick. I said that we shouldn’t do anything that would put any of us in harms way, and for that matter not to breathe any smoke in when he sees anyone else smoking.
My mother’s policy when I grew up was: If a child is old enough to ask–then they’re old enough to know the truth. I find myself now with that same philosophy. I was so proud of him for wanting to call me to find out, except now that he knows it is not good for him or anyone else…he wants to call our neighbor and tell him and his wife to stop smoking.
Yesterday, I finally got around to calling that same nieghbor to thank him for my son’s Christmas gift. I got their answering machine. My little T got the phone and asked,”ummm, do you smoke?” Then he hung up.
Okay….like that’s not going to be an interesting piece of conversation once I see my next door nieghbors again! Coincidentally enough, this past Sunday’s sermon was about how to take care of yourself….body and spirit. The pastor mentioned giving things up like smoking. My son looked at me and said, “See that’s bad to smoke.” I think that’s something that will stick with him for a long time.