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My dad stopped smoking when he was 62 years old.

He started smoking when he was 14.

I love to hear him tell about the time he and my uncle Paul, dad's youngest brother were smoking in the barn.

Dad said they had got some cigarettes and matches and went to the barn and got down in a stable and started trying to smoke.

Pretty soon Grandma came into the barn and called out to them.

She said, "What are you boys doing back there?"

Dad said Uncle Paul jumped up and said, "We ain't smokin Mom, we ain't smokin."

That made my dad so mad.

He said it was just the same as running out and telling her
they were smoking.

I remember when I was in the fourth or maybe fifth grade and I tried to smoke.

Mom and dad were some place I don't remember where but my older brother, my younger brother and my best friend Cindy were there with me.

Cindy and I got the matches and cigarettes and decided to smoke.

We were pretty smart though, we got a cup and poured mouth wash in it so we could rinse our mouth and no one would smell smoke.

I don't know what we thought we were going to do about the smoke smell in our hair and on our clothes. I guess we weren't that smart.

Anyway we went out in the old building where we kept the freezer and smoked.

We hadn't got no more than started when someone said mom and dad were coming.

We ran out of the freezer shed and started running down the drive-way to greet mom and dad.

We never ran down the drive way to greet mom and dad.

We were skipping and running and swinging our arms and yelling, "Hi"!

Looking back I think that was the equivalent of jumping up and saying, "We ain't smokin mom, we ain't smokin".

I'm pretty sure mom and dad knew right away we had been up to something.

But you know, they never did mention it.

I don't know what they knew but I know they had to have known something.

I can't even remember getting the stuff out of the freezer shed for all I know mom found it in there when she went to get something out of the freezer.

I never did take up smoking but I also never did get good at not being obvious when I had done wrong.

One day when I was in high school I stayed home from school.

Later that night I got to telling mom about what I had seen on tv that day.

I never thought a thing about it and mom just listened and let me hang myself a little more and finally she said, "How did you see that since you were at school?"


That wasn't the only time I told on myself either, there were plenty more.

I never could get the jump on mom.

One time my friend Cindy and I stayed out later than we were supposed to.

I had the idea that we could go around and sneak in the basement doors and mom and dad would never know when we came in.

I want you to know just as I was about to put my hand on the door and slide it open it started sliding.

Mom opened the door for us and said, "Come in girls."

I don't remember much being said.

I don't think there was much need for words.

Guilt and shame pretty much did it's work.

Sometimes moms know  because we tell them and sometimes they just know.

Really I think they always know, even if we don't tell.


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