Aspen Real Life: Parenting teens in a legalized marijuana resort town
When people think of life in Aspen, some may sneer at thoughts of kids being dropped off at the high school in cars that cost more than thir homes. They may feel envy for families with private jets who fly off on a whim to exotic adventure trips for the weekend, or for the year if their kids are misbehaving. I myself have felt that envy, especially when experiencing the wrath of teendom.
There have been many a day when my husband and I felt that this task was far bigger than what we could handle and I spent many a day exploring the options of sending our oldest son to a place specializing in teaching civility, grace, and the importance of contributing to humanity. Every lead circled back to the reality that we could not afford any programs and that we would have to deal using the resources available to us in our valley.
Being a Stay at Home Working Mom has its benefits, but financial freedom is not one them, and thus, with no budget for summer camps, I have played the role of camp counselor for many summers taking the boys on travel gigs for the blog, and out on daily wilderness excursions through enchanted forests of pristine white Aspen Groves and fields of wildflowers, sometimes ending into icy plunges into mountain lakes.
When the oldest turned 15, those adventures came to a rebellious and abrupt stop. To our newly teenaged boys, just the mention of adventure or hiking brought forth a litany of grimaces and rejections. This is when our freestyling son’s summer consisted of hucking off ledges at the Aspen skateboard park and throwing misties off of the Stillwater bridge into hypothermic rivers, that is until he could land himself a job.
That 8th grade summer is when parenting kicked into high gear. No longer were conversations enough to talk him through unnecessary outbursts of dramatic eruptions. Our breathtakingly adorable, entertaining curly headed little boy had transformed into a volcanic mythical creature with beautifully carved horns that he butted into us with every attempt at parenting. Enduring punch in walls by bloody fists and explicatives that left us gasping for air as if we too had been punched, we navigated the storms swirling around us as best we could.
Just after that summer, Colorado Amendment 64 was passed and pot shops quickly began to emerge on the streets of Aspen.
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