Yes. I’m THAT parent. That parent who CHOSE to halt immunizations. That parent who, upon discovering that our 3rd child most likely had autism, STOPPED giving vaccinations to our younger son too. GASP! I’m THAT parent who has some children who are fully immunized, some who are partially immunized and one who has never had any shots at all. Oh my! And boy do I get flack for that! Come on people…pick your jaws up off the floor. It is a choice I made. A choice that I still stand by. A choice that was right for my children. THAT’s what ultimately matters; making sure our children are safe and healthy.
Fast forward to Tuesday, January 26, 2016…
My phone is ringing. I look at my phone in question. I don’t recognize the number. Who could that be; the school calling, maybe? “Hello?” I answered. It is the school nurse. “I have kind of an interesting situation here,” she began.
“There’s a child in our school with a confirmed case of the chicken pox. Since you’re children are not immunized for this disease, they will be excluded from school for 16 days.”
In all the years…about 10… that my children have been attending school without vaccinations, this is that first time it has affected them. Wow! I’m surprised it has taken this long.
“Okay,” I reply. There was a long pause as I took it all in. I’m pretty sure she thought I either didn’t understand or was going to get upset. Wouldn’t that be nice of me? Sign a paper that my kids are exempt from certain vaccinations and then freak out on the nurse when there’s an outbreak…not a wise course of action, I’d think.
She continues to explain and I interrupt her. “It’s okay. This was my choice. I completely understand.” She seems almost surprised that I’m not going to be upset with her. Well, it sure isn’t her fault that a child came down with the chicken pox.
“Could you come and pick him up?”
“Sure, I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
I get to the school about an hour later and Colin has had to sit in the office waiting for me. The Vice Principal comes out as we are leaving to tell me that Colin is a great kid. “He’s very engaging. He’s the envy of all the sixth grade! He didn’t have to get the shot and he gets to go home for 2 weeks. They all wish they were him!” We all had a good chuckle about that.
On the way home Colin is telling me about how his teacher called him out of the lunch room to go to the office. They explained why he had to go home. He doesn’t want to be home. He loves school. He hates to miss it. Crazy kid! Then he starts begging me to call the doctor so that he can get the shot. Seriously?!?! What kid begs to go to get a shot so he can go back to school? Um, Colin. That’s who.
I take immunizations very seriously. The health of my children is very important to me, as it is for all parents. I took some time to seriously think about whether or not to call the doctor.
I LOVE that I know I have the Holy Ghost to guide me. He can help me know if something IS or IS NOT right for my family. As I think about this vaccination for Colin I don’t have any negative or hesitant feelings at all. I feel good about allowing him to have it.
I call the doctor’s office and they are so nice. They try to get me in that same afternoon. I chuckle and tell them I’m not able to get in this afternoon but I can come the next day. Besides, it won’t hurt the kid to miss a little bit of school. I mean really! It won’t be the end of the world if he misses a day or two. He’s such a smart cookie that a day off will be good for him.
Wednesday…How does a kid get so bored in just one day at home? We even went to the doctor’s office in the middle of the day. He had his shot. He’s cleared to return to school tomorrow. He’s already tired of being at home. He says there’s nothing to do. Um. Right. I could find him PLENTY to do! Haha!
It’s Thursday morning. I drive him to school. We get there a few minutes early and the nurse hasn’t arrived yet. We stand in the office waiting. It’s like Colin is a returning celebrity. Everyone talks to him. They call him by name. The Vice Principal comes in and sees him. “You’re back! Way to go Colin!”
“Yep, he begged me to get the shot.”
“You’re my new favorite student, Colin!”
Seriously. This kid doesn’t need any more boost to his ego. It’s big enough already. Haha!
Then the Principal walks by. “Colin! Welcome back! I knew you couldn’t stay away for long.”
Colin is just EATING this all up! He loves the attention! “Wow, Colin. Everyone knows you by name,” I commented to him.
He shrugged and said, “Yeah, I do morning announcements a lot.” Well that’s the first I’ve heard of it.
What a silly kid! He got the personality that simply attracts others. The kids want to be his friend. The adults all love him. And yet he’s such a stinker at home. I gotta love him!