When I started hearing about all of these parents deciding against immunizing their kids, I suspected that it eventually would impact us directly. Over the past 16 months, whether we’ve gone to the park, played at Gymboree, attended La Leche League meetings, and even when I’ve taken Ethan to the grocery store, I have fleetingly wondered whether the other parents we meet have immunized their kids.
I realized that at some point — likely when Ethan entered school — I’d have to deal with this issue head on, but I figured that was years away. So, when I read yet another Berkeley Parents Network message from an anti-vax parent decrying insenstive pediatricians and praising Randall Neustader of all people, I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me when I saw that it was written by the woman that I’d selected as Ethan’s child care provider.
For the past three weeks, I have been thrilled to have a limited child care option (six hours per week) with a mother that I truly like and two little boys whose temperments are a perfect match with Ethan’s. The situation could not have been more ideal. And now with that one email, it is wholly unacceptable.
I know that when Ethan starts playing at other kids’ houses on his own, I will ask typical mommy questions like, “is so-and- so’s mom or dad going to be there?” Todd and I also strongly believe that we have the responsibility of asking whether there is a gun in the house. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would need add “do you immunize your kids?” to the list. And yet, it is fundamentally the same thing — it’s about protecting Ethan’s health and well-being.