Maybe some people will think I'm living on the wild side, but my selectively vaccinated kids hang out with kids who have never been vaccinated. I'm not worried about any of us catching the plague. I happily invite the no vax kids into my home and I'm more than pleased when I get an invite to their house. I'm not the type to drop my jaw if my kid takes a sip of another kid's sippy unless of course that kid is foaming at the mouth and has eyes that look like rabies. And if someone we know comes down with some forsaken disease, we're not going to go roll around in their blankets. We'll simply wait the time for whatever they have to go away so we can resume our playdates. I'm not the Chicken Pox-lollipop sharing kind, but I'm also not going to judge you if you're into that. If you want our sick-laced candies, I'll share.
Still, that 'wild side' I'm living on -- the one who mingles with the no vax -- freaks many parents out.
One of my mom friends is extremely worried about the kids who aren't vaccinated in our town. When she talked about it with me, it's as if she painted an image of Garbage Pail-type Kids running around squeezing measles ooze on innocent little girls in pink dresses and pigtails. I don't subscribe to this kind of fear, but she does. She's worried about the schools and their policies, she's worried about the playgrounds, she's worried about going to the swimming hole in the mountains, and she's worried about the public pool because it might be a big, hot bathtub of disease. And both of her kids are very healthy and breastfed. They don't have compromised immune systems, which would make them more susceptible to diseases. It's as if she thinks no vax kids are these walking carriers of sick.
This is fear. Real fear. Fear that paralyzes people. Fear that makes people stay in their homes with the windows closed with worry that the breeze might blow in some Rubella. Nice to meet you. Show me your medical records before I shake your hand kind of thoughts.
One of the reasons I breastfed my kids was to boost their immune systems. I try to feed them healthy foods so they get all the vitamins they need, and of course hope for the best when it comes to their health because there are outside factors we cannot control. We go to the supermarket; we hang on the monkey bars at the park; we hang out in public. Who knows what the people who were there before us had? Are there germs in the air? Of course. I can't control them all. And I'm not going to prevent my kids from playing with their friends. We can't shield our kids from everything. In fact, a little cold, a cough, a sick of the minor kind can also kick our little one's immune system into a higher gear, allowing them to fight things off better. So a little ick really is good for them.
I don't want to see an outbreak of anything. I'm also not going to treat no vax kids or their parents any differently because their decisions are different than my own. And because they look nothing like Garbage Pail Kids, I'm not scared of them.
If you vax, do you prevent your kids from hanging out with no vax kids? Have you been victim of this if you don't vax?
Image via nevolution/Flickr