I’m Addicted (and I just can’t get enough)

15 Jul

It’s Field Day at my daughter’s summer program. The theme: JERSEY DAY. Last night her mom brought over Aidan’s Boston Bruins jersey, an excellent choice following the team’s Stanley Cup victory over the Vancouver Canucks. So dressed as a little Boston Bruin, with her Chorkie puppy in her lap, she and I set off for the 3 mile drive to the school hosting her summer program.

I don’t think we managed to cover half a mile when I started to hear her little voice singing in the backseat:

“I’m addicted and I just can’t get enough, I just can’t get enough, I just can’t get enough …”

She repeated it a few times before we reached the first STOP sign. Hearing my six year old daughter sing the lyrics of a Black Eyed Peas song isn’t a new experience. She loves the group and she’s sung other songs in the car before. But it was this particular song that made me feel compelled to start a conversation about addiction. After all, one of my writing clients is Burning Tree, a long-term drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in Texas.

Me: Do you know what addiction is?

Aidan: Yes.

Me: What is it?

Aidan: Um…I forgot.

I suspected that answer wasn’t quite true. This girl has an amazing memory. She can recall all kinds of details 24 hours, 1 week, 1 month later. She just needed a little coaxing.

I started by explaining how addiction is a dependence on a substance, one that becomes a habit that’s hard to break. She said, “I’m not addicted to anyone or anything. Are you addicted?” I replied, “I’m not addicted to anyone or anything either.” She seemed happy to hear that statement.

As we continued chatting, it was obvious that she’s had the addiction conversation before with her mother. Her mom knows more than a thing or two about addiction. In fact, she has a brother who’s been dealing with multiple addictions for more than two decades. I’m sure Aidan has learned a lot by listening to her mother talk about the subject of addiction. 

One of the points Aidan brought up was her mother’s own addiction to cigarettes. I acknowledged her example and said cigarettes are highly addictive, although not everyone will become addicted to them. For me, I told her, cigarettes are too expensive, taste bad, and have a nasty smell. I’ll never be addicted to them, I assured her. But I also reminded her that her mother has tried to quit and has had managed to stop smoking for long periods of time in the last several years.

The only other addictive substance we managed to cover in the short drive was pain killers. I explained how certain types of pain killers are more addictive than others. Her first question was, “have you taken those pain killers.” I told her that I had taken pain killers after my car accidents, but assured her that I never became addicted to them. It’s obvious that she’s trying to gather all the facts here and make sense of the world of addiction, as much as it could ever make sense to a young child.

Last night as we looked at the full moon together, she imagined being the first child to “discover the moon.” Today she may be thinking about discovering cures for addiction. I’m sure our brief conversation will be on her mind occasionally throughout the day, although I hope she can set it aside and fully enjoy Field Day. But if the topic comes up again this afternoon, I’ll be equipped with an kid-friendly view of addiction delivered by kids and created by Dr. Robert Lefever, Director of Promis Recovery Centre.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzkA7ArGkak 

I’m sure one view of this 8-minute video will change the way Aidan thinks about that Black Eyed Peas song. It won’t prevent her from singing it again, but she will be a lot more informed the next time she does. Of course, if she comes home singing Beyonce’s “Best Thing I Never Had”, I may have to discuss a radio ban with her mother.

Advertisements

One Response to “I’m Addicted (and I just can’t get enough)”

  1. Mrs. Jennifer Mrozienski July 15, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    Fabulous interaction with your daughter! In three short miles you were able to get her thinking about an important topic!

    Looking forward to more of your blogs!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: