Tag Archives: fear

Whether or not they’re vaccinated, your kids are going to die

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Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Whether you choose to vaccinate or not, your kid is going to die. So is mine. Hopefully, its not until have lived long wonderful lives. But the reality is, my vaccinated child could die in a car accident tomorrow. Your unvaccinated kid could die from measles complications in a few weeks. Both our kids could go to school in a few years and get shot by some pyscho.

Good grief, Bri. Why you gotta be such a buzz kill? Are you trying to freak us out even more? No, I’m not. I’m reminding you that no matter what you do, your child’s life is not in your hands. The way some of these parent’s are talking, you’d think that a decision for or against vaccination was an instant matter of life and death. My son’s days on this earth are not determined by me or my choice to vaccinate. There are determined by God alone. All I can do, all any of us can do, is make the most informed, best possible decision for our families and then live it up. Life is way to short to make decisions based on fear.

Look I get it, fear is easy. Everywhere we look the media is telling us about a horrible kidnapping, and some mom is blogging about mold she found in a Capri Sun. And we love our kids so freaking much. We want to protect them from every possible harm. But we can’t. When we jump at things that go bump in the night, we teach our children to walk through this life afraid instead of empowered. We teach them that it’s their job to control things, not God’s. We teach them that its better to take the safe boring road rather than to take great risks and experience great success and great failure. We build a generation of robots instead of a generation of revolutionaries.

So do your kiddos and fellow moms a favor and stop the fear mongering. Don’t share those over emotional blog posts that lack scientific evidence. But keep sharing those articles that are fact based, because we need more of those! Better yet, do some research and create your own!

Don’t cancel that trip to Disneyland just because there is a slight chance you’ll come in contact with measles (unless of course you have pre existing conditions that would make measles deadly, in which case maybe do Knott’s Berry Farm instead).

When you share your personal experiences, don’t present them as the final word but rather as one possible outcome, and encourage your friends to seek counsel from multiple sources.  While you’re at it, how about finding some moms and bloggers outside your usual circle and getting some advice from them?

And lastly, once a mom, or any person for that matter, has made her decisions don’t use fear and guilt to change her mind. If it bothers you that much that her kids aren’t vaccinated, then don’t invite them to your house (for the record, although I am strongly in the pro vaccination camp, healthy non vaccinated children are welcome in my home.)

Child of the Fear Era

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As a college graduation gift to myself, I planned a trip to Maui to visit a good friend of mine. My flight was significantly delayed so I pulled out a deck of cards and started playing solitaire. The middle aged guy sitting across from me offered to teach me a new card game. At first, I was hesitant. I grew up hearing about child abducters, rapists, terrorists attacks and scammers. I’m very much a child of the fear era and not interacting with strangers is our #1 rule. However, I knew solitaire was not going to keep my occupied for the next hour. Plus we were in the middle of the ever crowded LAX airport with TSA officers everywhere. Seeing as the guy hadn’t asked for any personal information, it was much more likely he was an equally bored traveler rather than a scammer or a skeeze. So I said okay.

I don’t remember what the game was, but I remember being pleasantly surprised by the company. We talked about our lives in general terms…his girlfriend, my job, his traveling experience, my boyfriend. He had been to Maui before so he gave me some great tips on places to visit. When our plane was finally ready to board, we said thank you and good bye. I never saw him again but I will be forever grateful to him for turning a terribly boring vacation start into one that was actually fun.

I realized that day that while being a child of the fear era has its perks (we no longer take candy from strange guys in vans) it also has a lot of negative side effects. We are afraid of almost everybody. When it comes to strangers, we don’t casually talk to them, we don’t politely tell them they have toilet paper stuck to their shoe, we don’t compliment them on thier adorable handbag and ask where they got it, and we NEVER stop to help them on the side of the road.

Of course, I don’t think we should just start picking up hitch hikers. The fact of the matter is we live in a sick world with sick people and we absolutely have to protect ourselves. I’m just saying we shouldn’t be wary of every single stranger interaction. Along with the sickos, there are also alot of good people out there.  We miss out on so many opportunities by burying our heads in our phones rather than looking around and making new human connections.

Another time in an airport, my mom and I were waiting to board a plane and a young woman asked us if she could use my mom’s cell phone because hers had died. Again, the fear generation flag started waving. But my mom is the sweetest woman ever and gave the stranger her phone. The woman stayed right in front of us, made her call, thanked us profusely, and left. I talked about it with my mom afterwards and she said “You know, that woman could have picked anyone in the terminal. She probably picked us because we seemed safe. She trusted us not to hit on her or be rude or use the phone number she dialed as a way to scam her. I figured the least I could do was trust her.”