Monday, February 22, 2010

One Of These Things Just Doesn't Belong Here.....

While I generally believe that most moms, no matter where you reside on this planet, want what is best for their children and want better for them, the way we all get there is completely different. I also don't like generalizations, but where I currently reside sometimes slaps me in the face with my umm, unique beliefs.

An example, you ask?

The other night we took our girls to their weekly dance classes. During the classes, we parents generally just sit outside on the folding chairs that are perched all around the waiting room. I usually don't chat much with the other moms, as I have one daughter with me to entertain while she waits for her sister's class to end and hers to begin, plus my husband is there as well.

The other night, the moms were discussing the fact that one child was just back after having had the chicken pox. A few moms jumped in to discuss their child's episode with the illness, and another lamented that her daughter hadn't had it yet! As she was saying she wanted to expose her to someone with the pox, she leaned over in my direction and asked with a chuckle, "Has B(my youngest) had it yet? Maybe we can make them get it together!" My reply had the room almost fall completely silent.

"Umm, nope. I got the vaccine for both of my girls."

"The chicken pox vaccine?? Why would you ever get that? Don't you have to pay for that?" followed "The chicken pox isn't dangerous. I would never bother with the vaccine. It's a harmless childhood disease that got blown out of proportion, just like the H1N1." Several (well, most) moms nodded in agreement.

So, here's my predicament. I'm truly odd man out here. In my hometown, most if not ALL of my friends did the same vaccination schedules as I did, opting to pay the extra for those not covered such as the chicken pox vaccine. Here, it's rare that anyone I know gets any of the "extra" vaccines and they seem truly fearful and misinformed. Heck, many delay the regular vaccine schedule for fear of autism.

I have a big mouth, which I often have to force myself to keep closed. I determined it really wasn't in my best interests at that point to tell a roomful of women why I believe in vaccines or how I diligently research and question medical professionals before coming to a decision. It doesn't mean I'm always right, we won' t know that until some distant future, but it does mean that I try to stay current and proactive in the care and health of my children.

The dreaded follow up questions I feared then began.

"Did you get the H1N1 vaccine? Really? WHY???"

"What about.....what was that other one? Prevnar? Or the Meningitis one?"

My answer didn't seem to help my cause of sticking out like a sore thumb.

"Yes, I answered. I got all of them."

I was met by blank stares and some ogling. The women went back to their chatting and I went back to watching the dancing.

It's likely the last time any of them ask the pariah anything. The good news is, I'm okay with that and comfortable in my "eccentricities." My Mom assures me that there "must be people like you, there." I've yet to find them, at least when it comes to this topic or several others of the parenting variety.

Hockey, anyone?

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