Parenthood, in general, is fraught with moments of reflection – both celebratory / warm-and-fuzzy mixed with what-the-heck-was-I-thinking?! Parenthood in the cannabis industry can be, well…these moments on steroids. Never was this truth more clear to me than a couple of weeks ago at the BudTrader Party for Comic Con here in San Diego. CEO Brad McLaughlin puts on some great events, and I was happy to support yet another one, help promote, and bring out a couple vendors…along with my adult son Dave and his buddy, Felix.
So, there we are downtown at Quad Alehouse on a Friday night. The place is packed. The emcee is killing it and the crowd is loving it. I shout out the answer to one of his questions for product giveaways and win a beautiful glass bong. As I’m walking up to accept it, I have one of those cinematic moments, you know where everything starts to move in slow motion as the character has an epiphany. I take the bong and a hug from the emcee. I turn around to see my son and his friend laughing, smiling, and high-fiving each other. I think…
I just won a bong…at my age…at a cannabis event…in front of my son…*laughing* I love my life…wait…but what if Felix’s parents hear about this…will they still let him come over and hang out with Dave?…Eva, Felix is 21, not 12…jeez, if someone had told me 20-years ago this moment was ahead, I would have said…they were crazy…but, here we are…hilarious…and beautiful…
I went back to my place in the crowd. While everyone was reveling in the fun — and heading over to the photo booth area to pose with their wins — my son, who’s 22-years old by the way, said, “you know you’re not gonna use that, you should just give it to me.” And I did. He was right. I like bongs, but I juggle so many things at this point, dealing with the water and whatever is just an extra step I don’t make time for. But that’s beside the point. The point is, I think that most of us cannabis fans who also happen to be parents – whether we consume on the down-low or show our faces socially or in the industry day after day – at some point or maybe frequently, scrutinize ourselves and/or experience the scrutiny of others.
And that’s okay. It’s a journey. Of course, with minor-children there are more issues to consider and it’s a different conversation. Regardless, we live in changing times, and our authenticity around cannabis helps change perceptions and policies. After years of people urging me to get my son on pharmaceuticals, I let him start using cannabis before bed when he was 17. It quieted his anxiety and he slept through the night for the first time…ever…instead of waking up 3, 4, or 5 times and not being able to go back to sleep. We had used all kinds of plant medicine and pretty much every natural/alternative healing modality out there with varying degrees of success, but cannabis did the trick. Now he primarily chooses CBD instead. It changed his life and, by default, my life, too. For me, I enjoy cannabis recreationally here and there, but mostly it calms my PTSD and allows me to sleep at night, as well.
Even if our adult-use were purely recreational, though, my feelings over winning the bong would still have put a smile on my face. Hey, I took both of my sons out for their first (legal) beers and no one looked sideways at us for it. Now, I love me some wine and tequila, but frankly, I’d rather smoke a bowl with my adult sons – and I have and do. The endocannabinoid system helps balance every other system in the body. It’s magical. And so is the feeling of being authentic about using the plant that nourishes it.
So, my fellow parents out there, we are all blazing a trail – pun intended – but hang in there. I’m pretty sure our adult children will thank us one day for being real and taking this journey with them. And we will thank ourselves and each other, too.