One thousand Americans stop smoking every day – by dying. ~Author Unknown
My daughter picked up a rather unsavory habit while in Europe.
She started smoking.
This amused me at first because a few years back she made a big ta-doo to me about not being a smoker, disliking it, etc. I figured it was the environment, maybe it was cool to do, she was trying to fit in with the Europeans, trying to keep thin, whatever.
However, it appears as though she has continued.
This makes me feel, well, ucky.
I don’t smoke. I don’t like smokers. I don’t mean I don’t like them as people, I don’t like the habit of smoking. I don’t have any friends who smoke. I prefer not to be around people who smoke. I am very sensitive to the smell. I detest having my clothing smell like smoke, my hair, my things. I did a happy dance when they prohibited smoking in public places in my state.
My mother was a smoker my entire childhood. She quit about 5 years ago after smoking for over 50 years. I am proud of her. I am not so proud of my daughter for picking up the habit.
I don’t like seeing pictures of her with cigarettes in her hand or mouth. I think it looks trashy and low class. Let’s just put aside the obvious health concerns, I just don’t like it. I mean I REALLY don’t like her smoking.
As always, I was intrigued with why I get so riled up at seeing smoking pictures of her. I mean, I don’t get like this around smokers. I just make a mental note of their smoking status and make adjustments when I am in their company. I don’t get all riled and vile and angry. I am not one of those rude people who lecture smokers. I just stand a distance away, upwind from them, or go out of the room until they have finished. No one smokes in my house and if you visit and you are a smoker, you are asked to smoke outside.
As I told a friend about this today, he started laughing at me. I mean hysterically, belly laughing.
“You seriously don’t know why this bothers you so much?”.
I am like, no asshole, I don’t. If I did, would I be discussing it with you? Would I be all bent about it if I knew?
“You are her MOTHER, for god sakes. Mothers never want to their children to do something that is bad for them, unhealthy or socially unacceptable. Like, um, DUH.”
“Oh, yeah, huh?” I thought.
I realized he was right. That is exactly the issue. If she was with me, raised by me, smoking would be a big no no. I would be upset if I found out she was, I would discuss it with her and express my concern. But I cannot do that. If I tell her I don’t like her smoking, she would likely tell me to piss off. Perhaps she would say "Well, I don’t like that you left me with strangers at 3 days old. So there"
That’s exactly it. It’s the mama bear in me wanting to protect and counsel my child but since the laws of man took that away from me I am left feeling all twisted and confused and left with the laws of nature.
How do I manage the mothering protective feelings for a child you were not deemed worthy enough to mother and protect?