Tuesday, October 2, 2007

For Safekeeping

Since the moment I found out I was going to be a mommy, I have always been mindful of my child’s health and safety. As parents, we are given this magnificent gift and charged with the mission to raise and shape this babe into a well-rounded individual in whom we instill our highest morals and values. But above all else, it is our responsibility, to the absolute best of our ability, to safeguard these children from the dangers lurking at every turn.

But what do we do when we can’t see what’s coming?
What a blessing it would be, as parents, to have ESP.

In the past 24 hours I have been touched by two things that I hadn’t given much thought to previously, however they are now at the forefront of my mind.

I was listening to Kidd Kraddick in the Morning on my drive to work this AM and was struck by the vast and overwhelming uncertainty in the world. During the show’s annual fundraiser for their Kidd’s Kids charity, the host replayed the story of a mom whose child, at just 10 weeks old, was so severely shaken by a daycare worker, that he developed severe, life-long afflictions.

The woman’s son, Trey, was perfectly, beautifully healthy and happy, until he fell — literally — into the wrong hands. What a terrifying, gut-wrenching thought.

With tears in my eyes, I immediately began to pray for the family, for the safety and security of my own son, whom I had just dropped off at daycare, and for his teachers. I pray for many things in my life, with my son’s health always topping the list, but it had never occurred to me to include those who care for him in my daily chats. After hearing this story I realized how lucky and blessed I am to have found a wonderful, caring place for my child, but there are never any guarantees. I know how frustrated I can sometimes get when Cooper is in the throws of a tearful fit, I can only imagine tripling that experience. It is my fervent prayer that Cooper’s teachers, all teachers and caregivers, be touched by patience, compassion and the forethought to step away, to take a break, if they find themselves slipping. No child should ever have to suffer at the hands of another.

And yesterday afternoon a good friend of mine, Leigh (thank you!), sent an eye-opening e-mail about the aggressive vaccination schedule (namely the mercury
in the shots), for children and the possible link to autism. Until now, I always blindly assumed that the governing bodies of this country were watching out for the best interests of our citizens, however, after reading the articles Leigh sent, I no longer believe this to be true.

Earlier this year the CDC shocked the nation with its stat that 1 in 150 kids today have Autism (an alarming spike from the estimate of 1 in 3,000 that was offered only a few years ago). One possible consideration for the increase? Mercury, mercury, mercury. Some experts are suggesting that parents consider a modified vaccination schedule that increases the time between shots and prohibits any that contain mercury. As flu shots top the list of worries regarding mercury (and Coop’s pedi mentioned that he’d be receiving one at his 6-month check-up), I will definitely be researching the modified schedule and talking with Dr.
D about what options are available.

While I can’t protect my child from everything that dares harm him (even me – I nipped his fingertip while trimming his nails the other day and felt like the worst mother ever when it began to bleed), I can certainly arm myself with knowledge and be vigilant in addressing my concerns. After all, I only get one shot to get this right … my son’s life depends on it.

-smell you later-
Coop’s Mom (aka Tessa)

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