In the small Panamanian town of Boquete last night, my husband decided to give our young children an impromptu lesson in saying no to drugs.
While killing some time before dinner, we decided to let the kids burn off a little energy in the town square. While they ran circles around the large cactus in the middle, my husband and I were approached by a rather aggressive panhandler who was determined to squeeze a little cash from the new faces in town. So as not to alarm the kids we decided to move on from the square.
About an hour later, my son asked ’Dad, was that man drunk?‘.
My husband replied, ‘Well, I think he was a little more than drunk. He may have been sniffing glue or something’.
Fantastic, I thought….here we go.
‘What do you mean sniffing glue dad?’ both kids replied in unison (my daughter also intrigued).
My husband proceeded to go into great detail about how one might go about sniffing glue, gasoline or other noxious substance to two wide eyed children.
My husband and I sometimes have very different approaches to child rearing (my mother used to accuse me of living in a ‘Polyanna world’). During his diatribe I tried to stop him with the international hand signal for ‘cut’ (or is it ‘off with your head’?), but he was not to be deterred. My children were equally engaged, asking reasonable questions such as ‘How much would the glue cost?’ and ‘Where would they get the glue?’. Sensing my horror, they would periodically reassure me by saying ‘It’s okay mom, we’re never going to do this. We just want to know’.
For better or worse, as I write this, my little angels are sleeping in the next room, and are about to awaken a little wiser to the ways of the world.