It's easy to quit smoking, the old saying goes. I've done it plenty of times.
I picked up the habit just a few years ago, a byproduct of where I was spending my free time. But when I got married last year, I decided to quit. And I did, for a few weeks. And I picked it up again. And I quit again. And I "secretly" kept going.
Turns out I wasn't kidding anyone. That smell? Yeah, kids smell it too. And they may be polite about it to your face, but they find it disgusting.
The other day we were walking into a restaurant and saw a woman sitting out front, smoking a cigarette. It was downright scary. Her skin was actually gray. I don't know what caused it, but the girls and I looked at each other and knew that the cigarette she was smoking couldn't have helped.
"Remember what you just saw if you ever think of taking up smoking," I said when we were far enough away from the smoker.
"I know," Pax said. "Lucky thing you stopped."
Ouch. She knew. I had kidded myself into thinking that the girls didn't know I had been smoking every day. Just stop in the early afternoon, and by the time you get home, no one will be the wiser, I thought. The girls weren't that dumb, thank you very much.
I really have stopped smoking. Haven't had a cigarette at all since July 11. They say you take it one day at a time, and that's true at first. But after a while, you do stop thinking about it. I don't remember what was "fun" about smoking, but I do know what's fun about being a husband, being a stepfather, anticipating biological fatherhood. To blow that away for the "pleasure" of a puff of smoke? Not me. Not anymore. Too much to live for.