I was not happy with Laura’s choice to smoke cigarettes.
My baby, the one I had nurtured, filled her perfect lungs with nicotine. In my eyes, she was damaging herself.
We ran an open house for her friends. They came before a night out, shared drinks, then returned with Laura to sleep over. I encouraged this, bring my baby home safely with others, not let her wander the dark streets alone.
Was I over protective? Yes I was, and I knew it. But, we are who we are. Laura was my precious cargo, outside in the greedy hands of night.
One evening after her friends arrived, I walked past the hall window and saw Laura in her car, with friends smoking. I was furious.
I cut pictures from magazines: diseased lungs, health warnings, blackened teeth. I stuck the images over her dressing table mirror. The next day she ripped them off.
We compromised: cigarettes stayed, but at a distance from me.
Years later: she would walk five steps behind me in the street to spark up a fag, a roll up at that.
Now I wish that was all I had to worry about.