Monday, April 14, 2014

Seeing the other side

So I got on a plane to come home today with my family.  A woman behind me on the plane was on the phone and as I settled myself and my family into their seats, I heard her say, "I hope the parents who don't vaccinate their children will also get to deal with a whole bunch of developmental delays in addition to the problems from not vaccinating.  You know, not just the stuff from not getting the shots."

Yes, I'm serious.

Now maybe it is because I had little to no sleep the night before, maybe because we had gotten on a plane a little before 6am that morning and this was our third flight of the day and 12th hour of traveling, maybe it was because I had a little boy who had been sick for two days and had just thrown up on the tarmac on our previous flight, or maybe it had more to do with a family member using social media to bash us on the same issue just a week beforehand, but it really hurt.  there I was, taking care of my sick little boy, my active toddler who wanted to run, and thankful for each minute of it truly because it means I am their mom and I was hit with those words.

I did not feel I could just ignore it.  I often feel that way though if you know me.  that being said, I value her point of view, at least the part about vaccinating being important.  So I sat there for the first part of the flight wondering what to do while she slept and I fed my children, handed them probiotics, and let them sleep on my leg until I could no longer feel the blood flow.

then I asked the flight attendant for paper and a pen and this is what I wrote:

Dear well meaning stranger,
First, I want to say thank you for reading this.  Secondly, I overheard your conversation, I wish I had not, but I did.
I want to encourage you to talk to someone who has decided not to vaccinate their children.  Maybe you can hear from them how they struggle with that decision each day, how it continues to be the hardest decision they make in parenting, how they feel it is the best decision given their circumstances.
I understand your point of view on vaccinations, I really do, but to say that parents who make that decision should be given children with developmental delays as well can really strike a person right at the core of their heart.
to seeing others points of view.
One mama who adores her babies

In baggage claim I handed it to her politely.  I wasn't sure I was going to, but I did.  She read it and she walked away.

For the record, our choice regarding vaccinations has nothing to do with Jenny McCarthy, I do not worry about my children getting autism from them, and I do believe they can be beneficial.  So if you want to know why we made the decision we did, one just has to ask. 

(and please forgive the grammar errors on this post, I am typing on a computer without the capital t working thanks to me forgetting to keep it out of the reach of my little bear)