Never did I ever think that upon entering the zoo with my 3-year-old, he would say “Time to put your mask on, Mama!” But living through a pandemic, especially when the majority of your time alive has been during a pandemic, will do that to you. Eddie has become a prolific mask-wearer, putting one on without batting an eye when we go to a store, to daycare, or to swim lessons. Masks have kept us safe. Masks have allowed us, in recent months, to return to pre-pandemic behaviors.
Every time we come inside from one of those activities, or from a quick trip to pick up muffins, or from a morning spent on the tball field, we bring the kitchen stand over to the sink and wash hands. Eddie has learned to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” while he scrubs away, which serves as a good reminder for me to take my time washing my hands. We even get Jane in on the action, although washing the hands of a 1.5 year old toddler means that I juggle washing one hand at a time while I hold her. Hey, at least she’s learning!
My children, at the ages of 1 and 3, are not yet eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Mark and I have both been fully vaccinated for months, and I remember the relief washing over me as I sat in that Rite-Aid and the needle went into my arm. I’m so thankful that none of my close friends or family members were victims of this virus. I’m so devastated for the millions of people who were. And I’m still shell-shocked over the abrupt shutdown of the entire world.
It makes me think about a world without vaccines. I think about the polio outbreak, when parents knew that this debilitating, fatal illness was only affecting children. I can’t imagine the feeling of terror.
For that, and for many reasons, Mark and I have always made the decision to maintain Eddie and Jane’s scheduled vaccinations. We don’t see this as a debate. For us, this is nonnegotiable. It’s science, and science has proven vaccines to be safe and effective. I make sure that my children are up-to-date through consulting with their pediatrician and also through research on iVaccinate’s website. IVaccinate is an incredible website that provides science-based research and information for parents who are looking for best practices on how to protect their kids (and my kids!) Because I am passionate about their mission, I have partnered with iVaccinate to help spread their message of safe, easy, healthy vaccines and this content is sponsored, but also heartfelt.