Contemplative Car Talks

November 2, 2017

Driving to school

Daddy, what’s an opioid overdose? Sweetie, that’s another great question that we’ve never really talked about. Like many of the other great question you have, I don’t have a perfect answer and if you ask other people, they may disagree with me. If my answer doesn’t make sense or we feel we need more information, I will find someone else who can help us.

Opioids can be used as medicine to help you feel better if you have a lot of pain. Drs. can give people prescriptions for opioids. They’re kinda like Tylenol, but much much more powerful…so powerful that once people begin to take them, sometimes their body won’t feel better unless they continue to take them, even after the pain is gone. They feel really sick without the medicine. When a person needs to keep taking medicine…another name for medicine is drugs…If they keep taking the drug because their body needs it that is called an addiction (a conversation for the future, maybe tomorrow). Drugs like opioids can be very toxic (past conversations). If a person takes too much it can kill them.

There are different types of opioids, some are much more toxic than others. An opioid called heroin is very, very toxic, but, to the best of my understanding, when people can’t get the medicine their Dr. gave them, or their body needs more then they find other drugs that Drs. cannot prescribe…Heroin is very addictive and very toxic opioid. When the body needs drugs that toxic, IIIIIIII believe it becomes a disease…a disease that is very, very hard to cure. Like other diseases, if a person can’t be cured soon enough, they can take too much and overdose. If a person overdoses, they can die. Lots of people in Colorado and other places are dying from overdoses. That’s why people are talking about it a lot in the news.

Silence…so, how do people get cured?

There isn’t one cure that works for every person who has the disease. Some people think that people with opioid addiction can go and live in a hospital for a month or two and Drs., social workers and teachers try to teach them to stop taking the drug. For some people who are addicted that may work, but they still have the disease. In Denver, Drs. are opening a clinic where people who have an opioid addiction can go to take their drug. If they overdose, there are Drs. and nurses there to save them. That works for some. To be honest, I think the best solution is to stay away from opioids, but that is easy for me and others to think because we don’t have severe pain or an addiction. It’s complicated and just like everything else, an addiction to opioids is not part of my identity so I can’t truly understand. All I can do is listen to other peoples experiences and learn.

Of course, it went on a little longer, but that was the heart of our conversation this morning. #OurKidsAreListening and #ImTrying


October 20, 2017

Driving home from school

Daddy, what is mental illness?…well sweetie, like all of the other amazing questions you ask me, the answer is not easy for me to explain. Can you let me think about it for a little while? I won’t have a great answer, but I’ll try my best…
Fast forward to the car ride to school…I’ve thought about your question from breakfast and I think I can give you an answer, but it’s not perfect and there are many people who might explain it differently so let’s just have a starting conversation (conversation from the past).

Mental illness is a broad term used to group lots and lots of people together based on some very general characteristics that others have decided are important. Kind of like, you are categorized as Latina because your family is from a country colonized by Spaniards (conversations from the past) or you’re a girl because… That’s kind of how the term mental illness is. The categories can lead to prejudice and discrimination, but they are also something you should be proud of (conversation from the past).

A person can be categorized as having a mental illness if doctors decide that their ability to think and act is not “normal” (conversations from the past). That looks very different in different people and can last for a person’s life or a short period of time (talked about how mental illnesses have affected many in our family).
Daddy, will I have a mental illness?

Well, I don’t know. Most people have some form of mental illness during their life. If you ever feel like you are thinking or acting in a way that is disabling (conversation from the past) then talk with mommy, me or another person you trust (conversation from the past)…#OurKidsAreListening #ImTrying


September 26, 2017

Driving to school

On our way to school this morning my six-year-old asked me about taking a knee during the national anthem. Like all of our other conversation about SJ and E, it was amazing! This is the first have chosen to share, because they are always very personal and I do not want anyone to think that I believe I have the right answers. However, this particular conversation was is one I feel people need to think about long and hard.

Like every other SJ and E topic this was complex. We recently had a conversation about Black Lives Matter so there was a place to start. This conversation began with a review of true heroism as an act of selflessness for the greater good. Colin Kaepernick, just like all those Disney characters and others in the books we read is just one of thousands who have spoken up for the injustices in their communities knowing the risks of pain. We tell the stories of Dr. King, Sylvia Mendez, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ruby Bridges, and of course Moana and Mulan, because they had access to the opportunity to speak up and just a little more power than most to be heard. We too have power to influence. I don’t have all the answers, but I know my child is not the only six-year-old who has questions. #OurKidsAreListening