Thursday, May 25, 2006

Submitted for your Approval

Don’t look for any URL links here, or weighty references, or inside info—no, this is just what happened to me tonight, and the bigger meaning of it all.

I should have seen this coming. I should have kept up my guard.

Wife, little girl and I went to little girl’s 3rd grade open house at elementary school. Talked with some of the other parents, several of whom are friends. Little girl’s good little buddy wasn’t in school today. His mom said hi at the open house tonight—I asked why little buddy stayed home? Low grade virus—stomach upset for a few days, I’m tired haven’t slept etc etc, says his mom.

Then my little girl’s buddy’s mom said “so & so has chicken pox.” I perked up—who! I asked? Little girl’s buddy’s mom looked at me like a dog who’s heard a high pitched whistle—tilted head and ears up—“It’s going around the class, and the kids who caught it also got the shot” she said. I asked her which kid had chicken pox—I want my little girl to go play with that kid and hopefully catch chicken pox!

Now this woman is looking at me like I drank more than I needed to in order to come to the open house. We entered the Twilight Zone, where the main character knows the truth, and everyone else thinks this character is crazy. Just like in the Twilight Zone episodes where all the nuts are trying to appease the only sane one in the group--she maintained her cool and just said, “why do you want to do that—expose your child to chicken pox?” She didn’t know that my little girl hasn’t had the varicella vaccination—to “immunize” against chicken pox--which in effect is the injection of an attenuated herpes virus directly into a child’s blood stream--for that reason alone, it was worth not giving my little girl that injection.

I saw no way out other than to explain exactly my intention: I simply answered that if my child contracted chicken pox, a mild childhood disease with, percentage-wise, literally little to no adverse after-effects, she would have nature’s blessing of a life-long immunity—which no vaccine or man-made concoction could confer, let alone without the side-effects possible from any given subcutaneous inoculation.

Needless to explain here, that explanation didn’t go over at all. Or I should say, it went completely over this mom’s head. Interruptions and other conversation ensued, and I didn’t get the name or address of the chicken-pox infected child, and all in all, the evening went well. I think it went OK--unless my wife starts hearing that I’m that weirdo dad who is trying to find a way to give his kids chicken pox.

Well, yeah—chicken pox, mumps and measles if possible…I had all three as a kid and I’ll never get ‘em again.

By the way, just like the twist at the end of every Twilight Zone episode, there’s one here: all the kids in the class, and the school for that matter--coming down with chicken pox, which the parent told me about tonight—all of them were given the vaccine against chicken pox. Which means either the vaccine doesn’t work, or the kids got chicken pox from the actual vaccine—or both.

I vote for both. And I wouldn’t inject a herpes virus in my kid for any reason in the world. There’s the signpost up ahead..

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