I told you then, the monster is a way of life, one it's difficult to leave behind no matter how hard you try.
Well the monster personifies drug addiction.
One of my students thought I might dig these books, Crank and Glass by Ellen Hopkins because the whole story is written in poems.
And dig them I did. Ellen Hopkins is so good that you will hide them in your scripture bag so you can read them during Sacrament meeting.
But you will feel dirty reading them while listening to talks about eternal families, especially when your 10 year old starts scolding you because he sees a naughty word.
Even when I wasn't reading them during Sacrament I felt like I needed to jump in the shower.
And not because I've gone to bed with the monster.
I've never even gone to first base with the monster.
I wouldn't even hold hands with the monster if you paid me a million dollars.
But I lived under the same roof with him for many years. I shared a bathroom with him.
I shared my father with him.
I used to dream about the wicked Kung Fu Chaos I would inflict on him if I was big and strong and powerful. In my dreams I would throw my dad a light saber so he could take that monster down.
But in real life the monster took him down. At only 36 years old.
I wish the monster would stop pushing crank and glass and crack and push something like cracked wheat.
Wouldn't it be awesome if cracked wheat was the drug of choice?! Especially for us Mormons. We've got the grinders and the mixers and enough wheat stored to keep the whole world high on life through any emergency or natural disaster.
I probably still wouldn't indulge because I hate cracked wheat, but I am trying hard to get hooked on cream of wheat. My husband doesn't believe I can do it and everytime he sees me eating it he says, "I know you're not enjoying that, I can tell."
It's not that hard to get hooked on cream of wheat if you add some applesauce and then some brown sugar and then some milk and then some more applesauce and then a little more milk and then don't let it touch your lips.
But back to the monster. . . I know it's not fun to talk about him, but we can't just pretend he's not there.
And even though I've never been addicted to him, he ransacked my stone cold heart anyway and left a gaping hole right through the center.
I never filled the hole with drugs, but I understand addiction. When Huey Lewis said might as well face it, you're addicted to love, he was talking right to me.
Love addiction can be an agonizing beast (especially when you have a hole in your heart). That's why I keep my heart on ice so I don't fall off the wagon.
I can't wait until I'm rich and famous and powerful so I can become a heart surgeon. I'll use the invisible red thread to sew up all the gaping holes in everyone's heart. And then I'll iron a patch on just to make sure it holds (you never know with invisible thread).
And then I'll buy every kid battling the monster not one, but two light sabers.
And I'll buy every parent a red cape and a pair of stretchy pants so they can protect their children.
And then, just for the helk of it, I'll buy everyone who has ever suffered at the hands of the monster a Jamba Juice. A Peenya Kowlada. Go LARGE! With immunity boost.
Since I've been reading these novels I've been thinking a lot about red capes and stretchy pants. I mean what if I can't protect my kids?
The other night after New Beginnings I had my daughter to myself for 3.5 minutes on the drive home so I thought it would be a good time to address the issue.
I wanted to be subtle, yet direct. Firm, yet gentle. Discreet, yet obvious.
I wanted to speak softly, but carry a big stick.
"BTW, " I said to her, "you know how you used to be scared of monsters when you were little and I told you there was no such thing as monsters?"
"Well, I LIED! There IS a GINORMOUS SCARY monster under your bed and he'll GOBBLE YOU UP WHOLE if you look at him."
"Uhhhh . . . okay . . . " she stammered.
"AND DON'T DO DRUGS!" I yelled. "DON'T EVER EVER EVER DO DRUGS!"
I think it was just what she needed to hear because she sat in stunned silence before saying, "Maybe you ought to go get yourself a van down by the river and do some motivational speeches."
I thought that was sweet.
I think if I keep screaming this message at my kids every morning when they wake up and every night before they go to sleep, they won't do drugs.
(Now I just have to think of a way to keep them from doing love.)