July 18, 2012

Sex, drugs, rock n roll and leprechauns

We have had the S E X talk with all of our kids, or at least we think we did. Mostly what we did was follow-up on the school curriculum’s excellent job of sex education as well as weaving health, reproduction and responsibility into the high school classes. Alex participated in all these programs and her case manager reinforced the lessons.

Except for a few PDA sessions with both of her boyfriends (Alex has had more action than I did at her age) I feel Alex understands boundaries and saying no. I know that at some point, just like most young adults, Alex will want to do more than make-out and we will have that talk again.

As far as drugs, all three of our kids have taken special programs about substance abuse at their schools. We have emphasized this at home, and believe our kids may experiment, but understand the dangers of drugs and alcohol. I have been particularly diligent with my oldest daughter, as I too went to college, and my son who is at that tender age of pushing the boundaries.

In Alex’s case I have not followed up as thoroughly as I did with her siblings. Alex learns and retains information by reinforcement and lesson repetition is important to her retention.  At one point I heard that down syndrome and substance abuse is not a big issue, and I choose to believe it. I was lazy because at this point in her life Alex does not like smoke, or the taste of alcohol. I believed she was educated enough to avoid these temptations or so I thought until she met the leprechauns...

On Venice Beach there are medical marijuana dispensaries every two blocks. Outside each of these store fronts there are two or three hawkers dressed completely in green soliciting customers. Alex was intrigued by these shows and decided to stop and chat. This did not concern me, the whole scene is quite entertaining and from my perspective harmless and I knew she would be able to catch-up with us.

As Alex sprinted to us she screamed so everyone within 20 feet of us could hear:

“Mom, Mom wait up, I met some leprechauns and they want me to visit them, look at the card they gave me. Can we go back so I can have a picture with them?"

Bent over with laughter, we went back to take Alex’s picture with a very high 20 year old kid who did indeed look like a leprechaun. I now know that the Venice Beach Leprechaun species have red eyes, like to smoke pot and talk to 19 year olds with down syndrome.

I hoped this would keep Alex happy and we would have the drug talk at some point, but no…Alex insisted we use the picture of her in front of a head store with a stoned leprechaun for her facebook profile.  I realized I had gone too far....now is the time for the drug talk with Alex.

And, rock and roll, all three of our kids know this is the real pot (of gold) at the end of the rainbow and we need to always seek it every day of our lives.


  1. I've heard about the low incidence of people with Down syndrome being involved with drugs or alcohol, too. Makes me happy. :-) That sentence about Alex wanting to use the photo for her facebook profile totally cracked me up! Can't wait to hear how the talk goes...

  2. I am a bit nervous about the above picture as Alex likes to take photos off the blog and post them on FB - I am on alert... :)

  3. This is hilariously educational!!!! Got your book in the mail today, can't wait to read it. Have you read Mama and Margaret by Embry Burris? I think you would find it similar to your current situation and informative about the mother daughter with Ds adult relationship. Embry is the younger sister to Margaret. Alex reminds me of Margaret and her antics.

    1. Thanks for the info...hope you like the book!

  4. Oh.... wow. This is awesome. Though I can't decide if I want to move back home to CA or lock up my kids!

  5. Oh my..... Facebook, both joy and curse when your kid is hanging out with stoned leprechauns!

  6. this is fantastic! what a shot! haha!


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