The debate over whether to or whether not to immunize children rages on. This time in the form of commercials warning parents against possible serious, if not deadly, side effects. I don’t know what I’d do if my children were still young. At the time I was raising them you got regular vaccinations as the time arose to do so. There was no will you or won’t you involved. If you planned on sending your children to school, no vaccination records, no school. End of story. I still stand on the side of immunizing as these serums have eliminated many of these childhood diseases. Why expose other children to something your child might be carrying risking infecting many because of your choice?
Perhaps space them out as was the original way of doing things. My daughter, who runs a day care, said the practice nowadays is to give cluster shots with several types of vaccinations rolled into one visit. One of her little guys had such his shots recently and the following day his leg was so swollen at the injection site necessitating a trip to the ER. Nothing serious evolved from that incident but it would be concerning to my mind when the follow-up shot came around.
Three or four weeks ago we had a scary moment with my son’s thirteen year old daughter. While at school she was asked to participate in a science experiment involving flashing LED lights. Asked first if she’d ever experienced seizures she answered truthfully, she had not. Going forward she did in fact have a seizure, passing out on the floor and flopping about in such a way the other students witnessing the event had to get counseling afterwards. Whisked off to the emergency room her frightened parents arrived shortly thereafter. Neurological tests were taken, along with several other general scans. In the end it was determined to be an isolated incident brought on by the lights. This is not uncommon in kids this age it appears, but I had never heard about it. Certainly my son and his wife feel they should have been consulted prior to my granddaughter’s involvement, so they could make the choice themselves. Thirteen year olds would most likely sign up to jump off the La Quebrada cliffs in Mexico if suggested to them, so perhaps need a little guidance is needed when making such a decision.
Hard to know when to step in and when to allow our children to experience life. Both my children tended towards being fearless as kids, so when things got to what I considered a danger point I put the brakes on where they would not have done so for themselves. Even with this protection in place there were accidents and broken bones and childhood illnesses that simply couldn’t be gotten around. You want to teach them to make intelligent choices without putting a damper on their adventurous spirits. A bit of a tightrope walk that.
During their last years of high school I rented a beautiful house on a man-made water community called Discovery Bay. Builders created homes on a series of canals and inlets that fed into the Sacramento Delta. I gave them the option of either a graduation gift of a trip or living directly on the water for a year or two, and they chose the water. Our house was second in from the main waterway on a lovely cove community with eight docks in a circle leading down to the water. Never doing anything exactly on point, I had sold our boat three years prior. First I had a boat and no dock, then a dock and no boat. What can I say, I like to color outside the lines. Even with no boat the water offered up so many opportunities for fun. Besides several huge rafts and water toys, we had kept the jet skies. One particularly gorgeous summer afternoon I sat in my lawn chair watching the activities on the water. Weekends, people who kept second homes in the area, increased the traffic on the waterways considerably. A jet ski flew by going way too fast. I commented to my daughter whoever was driving it was an idiot. My daughter, always willing to address her brother’s ineptitude, pointed it was him at the controls. Standing up I began waving and yelling. Shortly in another speedy pass he waved hello back at me. Really? I can’t remember dropping him on his head as a baby. Fortunately this didn’t result in any bodily injury to himself or anyone else but his jet ski was dry docked for a few weeks while he thought about his “need for speed”.
Besides my two teens I had a literal zoo. Sugar the Samoyed, Barnaby the golden retriever, and Sushi the Shih Tzu shared space with us along with Kitty, the only feline. Pete and Gladys our hamsters were eventually eliminated from the mix by cranky Kitty who tired of the wheel keeping her up at night. Moving in I paid $2,800 in pet fees, if you can imagine. Whew. Personally, I would have charged for the kids and let the animals in free. They were far neater.
Barnaby, the retriever, had been my husband’s dog. When he passed the dog was left with me. I felt in his eyes I was a poor substitute for his beloved master, but we managed. One day when home alone I sat on the dock with Barnaby. A beautiful dog, truly, but not the sharpest pencil in the box. A water dog by nature, Barn liked to watch with keen interest the variety of ducks found drifting along the waterways. This particular day a mother duck and about eight ducklings came close to the dock to say hello, perhaps hoping for a crouton or bread crust we often tossed in the water. Barnaby, unable to contain his excitement, took one neat dive and headed south after the retreating ducks. Just before he turned the corner and disappeared I hopped on the huge raft tied to the dock and paddled out after him yelling his name. Finally, the tired dog turned back my way. Once at the raft he climbed up on top. With his claws digging at the plastic it wasn’t long before I heard a ssssssssss sound coming from beneath where the saturated pooch was sitting. Sinking as I paddled, people gathered on a dock next to mine watching and gesturing as I sank lower and lower in the water. A canoe was pushed off and the lone occupant began rowing in my direction. Once next to me, now fully in the water with Barn clopping about my neck with his front paws frantically, the man somehow dragged the saturated animal into the boat. An eighty pound dog when not wet I considered this to be quite a feat. Not able to pull myself up, I held on to the side while he rowed back to the dock. Turned out the man was part Apache. Saved by a Native American in a canoe in 1988. Who knew?
Company came yesterday. As usual I made enough food to satisfy a sumo wrestling training camp. A warm day I came up with this refreshing drink that seemed a big hit.
Fruity Hard Limeade
1 container Simply Limeade
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lime, cut in thick slices
3 lemons, cut in thick slices
2/3 up sliced strawberries
1/4 cup blueberries
6 shots of vodka (more or less depending on taste)
Sprigs of mint
Mix together all ingredients but ice. Squeeze lemon ends into limeade with hands before dropping the rinds in. Allow to sit in refrigerator for 2 hours. Add ice to glasses and serve. Top with a sprig of fresh mint.