Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Albert Hofmann RIP

Albert Hofmann the man who discovered LSD died at 102 this week. He discovered the drug while experimenting with medicinal uses of fungus and grain in 1938. Of the drug he said later, "I produced the substance as a medicine. ... It's not my fault if people abused it,"

It is funny that I read about his death today, as I was thinking about LSD this morning. That sounds worse than it sounds. Someone in the park this morning was musing out loud how she would tell her children about drugs, alcohol and sex, and it got me thinking about how, at some point, I am going to have to tell my kids about the same things.

In college I was one of the people that abused Hofmann's brain child. Well not abused so much as tried a few times,I can count the times I tried acid on one hand, and I can say for certain that I will never do it again.

Even if I had no child I would be able to say this for certain.

I scared myself straight I guess you could say,the last time I tried it was very frightening for me, and I am sure it was very frightening for those who were around me at the time as well. Hell (and this will sound silly) the whole reason I had a non medicated birth was because of my dabbling in the world of acid. Here is the silly part- I had read somewhere, at some point that the drug stays in small amounts in your spinal column (like an archaeological record or something, so millions of years from now whoever digs me up will know what I did) and I was afraid that if I had an epidural somehow the needle would go too deep and unleash the stored drugs....YES I know that this is not possible, YES I know it is utterly ridiculous but at the time of my pregnancy it made sense to me.

Will I tell my kids that that is why I birthed with no medication? Or will I tell them that I am afraid of needles? I am, so it is not a complete falsehood but still if you put a gun to my child's head and told me you'd shoot if I wasn't totally honest, I would have to fess up to my own stupidity.

The same question happens when I think about telling the kids about alcohol. I don't remember ever having a talk about alcohol with my parents...what no scratch that I did have a talk about alcohol with my dad one summer. It was the summer I got caught in a male friend's basement with beer, after having snuck out of the house. If i recall correctly during the talk about the evils of alcohol, my dad was drunk himself and the talk was more about not sneaking out than anything else.

I grew up in a house with people who drank, sometimes too much if I were to be honest. I know where my limits are with booze, I know what I can drink and what I should stay away from, BUT I only know this because I drank more than my fair share of both. So do I tell the kids no booze at all because of what could happen? Or do I tell them how mommy knows she isn't allowed to drink whiskey?

And sex? Don't even get me started on sex. I'll just say this- if my first child ever does the math, he'll realize he was at his parents wedding.

So where is the middle ground when talking to the kids about these taboos? I try to be honest about these things in general (I think at this point, I've even admitted my drug use to my mom) but I don't really want my kids to do some of the things I have done.

I know I have years to think about this and for that I am thankful.

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