November 30, 2012 by rebelwithalabelmaker
Me: I want all the vaccinations.
Gary: In Belize, the prevalent illnesses are–
Me: I don’t care, I want all the vaccinations.
Gary: This list you’ve printed has things on it that there’s no possible way for you to contract in Belize.
Me: I wasn’t supposed to contract Hepatitis A in Canada, either. I want all the vaccinations.
Gary (scanning the list): Nobody makes the smallpox vaccine. Smallpox isn’t a thing anymore.
Me: You don’t read the internet much, do you?
Gary: Not for medical information, no.
Me: For someone who doesn’t use the internet for medical information, you are surprisingly anti-vaccination.
Gary (continuing to scan the list): I’m not anti-vaccination. And there’s no such thing as a “bed bug vaccination”. And you’ve already had whooping cough.
Me: I REMEMBER!!! THAT’S WHY I WANT ALL THE VACCINATIONS!!!
When Eric was a couple of months old, both of us got what they think was whooping cough. We don’t know for sure because to know for sure you have to stick a probe down your throat via your nose, and as I had just had a baby my orifices were taking a break from medical influence for a while.
Hep A was a week or two of discomfort followed by a lot of lying around, but whooping cough was uncomfortable for months. Because 1) I hate coughing, and 2) You can’t talk when you’re coughing. And 3) It is hard to put a baby to sleep when you have whooping cough. And 4) It is hard to put a baby to sleep once it catches whooping cough from you.
Or at least that’s what it says in the baby book. It’s not what I remember. What I remember is how my twelve year old would get home from school and light a fire in the fireplace and sit beside me while I lay there trying not to cough. And he’d read to me for hours. Books from school that he loved and thought I’d like and that I probably wouldn’t normally have taken the time to listen to.
And I learned a secret. Lying on the couch by the fire listening to a good book when there is laundry and dishes piled up in the kitchen and you have no idea whether you’ll ever sleep again and the boys probably haven’t flossed their teeth in three weeks is one thing. Lying on the couch listening to a good book when all the housework is done and the children are perfectly cared for is another. But in the moment, as you are listening to the story, there is absolutely no difference between the two. The moment itself is the same, no matter what comes before or after it. In my experience, the only difference between lying on the couch with an incomplete list and lying on the couch with a complete list is that the former one sometimes happens. I also realized that you don’t live a good life by preventing a bad one. You live a good life by living. Roosevelt’s biography would certainly have been different if he could have been vaccinated against Polio as a child… but “fully immunized” in and of itself is a pretty boring biography.
As we move into the season of Love, Joy, and The Utterly Uncompleteable To Do List, I will remember the words of Cesare Pavese, who said “we do not remember days, we remember moments”.
When people ask me what I mean by “spirituality on youtube”, I point them to this video. Every time I watch it, my life becomes longer (in a good way) and deeper…