When you fill the house with smoke,
It makes me want to cough and choke.
Put down the matches and just think smart
Will you please stop breaking your little girl’s heart?
This poem has been written by a young child, it was for her Father. She showed early signs of becoming a talented writer and her blog “Once upon a prime” is one of my guilty pleasures in the morning.
“Little Miss Menopause”, the author shares this poem in her FAQ/About page and reading it took my breath away, it made me feel uncomfortable. It hit home and it made me think about my neighbor’s child and all the other children, who feel helpless when they watch their parents smoke one after another. These days the kids learn in school about the danger of smoking, then they have to come home and watch their parents smoke right in front of them. The learn in school about cancer and see pictures of a smoking lung and they must be so terrified.
We don’t have children and I can’t tell you, if I would have smoked around them or not -most likely I would have. Gosh, I bothered everybody else with my cigarettes, I don’t think I would have stopped at home. I had a conversation with a neighbors child a while back and I wanted to write about it numerous times, but never got to it. To be honest I avoided it and didn’t even try to find the right words -I will try to make it right now.
We moved out of our first apartment (way back then) and when we looked at the yellow walls we left behind, we decided not to smoke in the house anymore (the obvious solution, giving up smoking didn’t even come to our mind). I had a pack-a-day-habit, so needless to say you could see me outside anytime. Early in the morning or late at night, in sunshine and rain; cuddled up with my husband fighting the elements, but holding on to our cigarettes. Just pathetic when you think about!
We have a neighbors child and she often stopped by when she saw me outside. I never asked how old she is, but I assume she must be 9 or 10 years old. Cute kid, very nice to talk to; well mannered and curious about the world and everything around her. I enjoy talking to her, she has an old soul and a sparkle in her eyes that I just love. I was working in the yard a while back and she stopped and asked me how I was doing. I told her I was fine and she asked me again, if everything was alright. She seemed concerned and I left my flowerbeds alone and talked to her. I found out that she was worried, because she hasn’t seen me outside for a while. I told her that I quit smoking and that now I only came outside when I actually wanted to be outside. She just looked at me in disbelieve. “You don’t smoke anymore” she got all excited about it and I thought it was too cute how much she cared about me. She looked at me and said “could you talk to my Mom please” (what was that all about). I know she lives a few houses down the road. I have seen her Mom but haven’t really talked to her…I don’t really know her. “Why do you want me to talk to your Mom? Are you in trouble”?
She just looked at me “Can you talk to my Mom and tell her that you stopped smoking”. She repeated it a few times and it dawned on me what that was all about, her Mom was a smoker. We continued to talk and I tried to make her understand, that I couldn’t just go by her Mom’s house and tell a woman, who I hardly know, that she should stop smoking. For Heaven’s sake I can’t even tell my own husband to stop smoking! My neighbor’s kid is worried sick about her Mom and her smoking habit. She wants me to talk to her, because she doesn’t know how and she doesn’t want her Mom to be angry at her. It is heartbreaking!
Thanks Little Miss Sunshine, now I am re-thinking my decision -something that rarely happens. Maybe I should go by and talk to her Mom, what’s there to lose? Maybe I should tell her about my smoking habit and point her in the right direction. Maybe I should tell her that her daughter is frightened…shouldn’t a parent know that?
Now I am wondering if parents even know how much their smoking affects the kids? Do they know and try to look the other way?
So I am asking all of you smokers out there, the ones that are reading my blog because they want to quit but haven’t found the right time yet (Newsflash: there is no such thing). I am asking you to turn around and look at the children who have to live with your addiction. “Will you please stop breaking your little girls heart”...reading this must have an impact if you are a smoking parent.