What Should A Mom Tell Her Kids When She Starts Smoking?I guess I didn't have much time to figure it out. I started smoking when we were visiting friends for a weekend of nude hiking. Decision time came for me as I was driving home. I knew I could just try to forget how much I'd enjoyed the cigarettes I'd had the night before with the woman who'd now become my lover, and how much I'd enjoyed the one I'd had after breakfast, or I could give in to the dark desire I felt to just buy that pack of cigarettes that I knew very well would be the start of a lifetime addiction.
I stopped to fill the car where Sarah had told me. My heart was pounding as I walked in to pay. The cool tile in front of the counter tingled under my bare toes. I feared loosing my voice as I thanked the girl, and finally added: "And I'd like a pack of American Spirit Organic Reds, please." I held them up so the boys could see them as I walked back to the car.
My youngest asked if I'd bought them for for Sarah.
"No," I corrected him firmly, "the cigarettes are for me. I'm going to be smoking from now on." I paused to open the pack and light the cigarette that would seal my fate as a smoker. I took a long, sensuous drag, as I knew the boys were watching. I gestured at him with the cigarette as I continued in my sternest mom voice. "But I never want to see you even so much as touching a cigarette."
The days that followed presented all the expected challenges of my "coming out" as a new smoker, but a visit to my gandmother's was an unexpected bright spot. Gran had been less than pleased the previous summer when I began going barefoot like he boys, but I was surprised to see her grinning when she saw me use the trail toughened pad of my big toe to crush out a cigarette before stepping into her house. She's been a smoker as long as I've known her, but only then did she confide in me that she'd only started smoking when my dad was about as old as my Danny. She'd never let her kids smoke, though, not while they were under her roof. Smoking was strictly a mom thing in her home, just as it's going to be in mine. My dad never smoked at all, and neither of his sisters smoked until they themselves were moms. I guess we're all late starters, and I think I like it that way.