VALPARAISO | Lisa Misch's son wanted to be a repair man when he grew up, working high in a cherry picker, fixing wires and cables.
"Instead, my son grew up to be a drug addict," she said.
It's the story she tells teens about mistakes her son made, how bad choices by one person ripple through a family and community.
She tells of the adrenaline rush at the startle of a phone ringing at an odd hour or a police car heading down the street. Would it turn in her driveway to deliver bad news about her son?
"I almost lost my son four times, twice to overdoses and twice to car accidents," she said.
Misch, a married Valparaiso mother of three, modified the story for a younger crowd in a book called "The Tricky Trap Lesson."
It's the story of a flock of Canada geese, with a focus on one family that includes gosling siblings. One of the goslings, Grayson, falls to peer pressure from some new geese on the pond. He makes a bad decision, and the rest of the flock comes to his rescue.
Misch, whose 23-year-old son is in recovery, said he was a little apprehensive about being the focal point of the story.
"I told him it's becoming less about him and more about just the topic," she said. "He is not the focus."
She began telling the story of addiction a year ago while working at Victory Christian Academy. A high school teacher approached and asked if Misch's son would share his story to life-management class students.
Her son declined, but she went in his place.
She painted a Norman Rockwell picture of their lives and how they spiraled into a mess.
"I believe it's a message that everyone can relate to," she said.
She tells the students that her son didn't plan to be an addict, but he did choose it.
"Grayson (the gosling) wasn't responsible," she said. "His choices put everyone at risk, not just himself. Older students didn't realize their choices could affect their whole family."
Misch chose Canada geese not only because they are loyal fowl known to leave messes in their wake, but also because they are everywhere in the region. She hopes that when children see the geese, they will remember the story of the tricky trap.
Teachers, preachers and counselors have asked her to speak and want copies of her self-published book, which is less than 700 words, she said.
The book is geared to 4- to 8-year-olds, but the message is for all ages, she said. It can be purchased at Liberty Bible Book Store, 824 N. Calumet Ave., Chesterton, or online for $16.95 at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com or www.crossbooks.com.