Sunday, January 24, 2016

Introducing NORML Dad

Being a NORML mom also takes a NORML dad. While my marriage to my children's father seems to take its cues from one of the stranger couples in an Esther Perel guidebook, it has instilled me with an appreciation for the journey.

NORML Dad & I shakin' up a cocktail: Crickets at Night
In our household, "one step at a time" is the mantra as a bunch of slightly troubled adults try to make peace with themselves, their careers and the gaggle of children they are parenting and co-parenting together. Really, it's a familiar struggle. Yet,when most families insist their experiences fit within established, time-tested cultural parameters--mine doesn't. Instead, it feels more natural to us to create our own guidelines, often as we go along.

Marijuana-related reform is much the same. It's taking a deep dive into uncharted waters--not out of recklessness, but rather out of the need to finally chart the territory so that the next generation can safely use it for recreation and nourishment, with ease and tranquility.

Note: Uncle J. beside me is holding a spinach ball. Honest.
Christopher Ryan, aka NORML Dad, managed to survive 40 years (most as an artist and musician) without ever knowing NORML existed, and he was initially skeptical of my involvement with the organization. Then I purchased him a membership in National NORML, and he received a green t-shirt adorned with a classic rendition of a pot leaf. Grumpy about this at first, he wore it to Atlanta's Little 5 Points and hasn't looked back. People hugged him. Teared. Thanked him. And, finally, asked him about NORML's work.

 Little 5 Points carries a reputation. It's cool, hip, beautifully bizarre-- a mecca of creative consumerism and activism as well, being home to the natural foods co-op Sevananda, the feminist book store Charis and even Atlanta's own awareness-raising Pot Shop. Yet, still, knowledge of NORML remained low, and the discovery of its existence brought hope.

A very NORML Christmas Morning
 Due to the success of his outing to Little 5 Points, the green shirt is now a regular part of NORML Dad's wardrobe, appearing at Thanksgiving, New Years and our multiple celebrations of Christmas, effectively helping our children recognize a pot leaf as that special medicine their awkward parents work to support.

Thank you, NORML Dad. As the saying goes, knowledge is power. Also, images speak.

I love you, man.


  1. Very cool blog Kelli Lynn. Please send me the web site for NORML. Would like to check it out. You know I view your family as a loving, caring & special group of people with children. I love you all very much & I support you all in the family dynamics you have chosen to live by. May peace & love be in your hearts always <3

    1. Thank you so much! The website is simply .