Last weekend I held my annual 4th of July party to celebrate my home country the United States of America. I love inviting my Aussie friends and their children to share in my cultural heritage and to give my boys an understanding of one part of their duel citizenship status. Honestly it is just an excuse for me to drink Budweiser, eat hotdogs, play beer pong and randomly yell U! S! A!
We invited the normal round of people and my husband invited a few guys from work. It would be a good mesh of adults and plenty of kids to keep themselves occupied. On the morning of the party I was chatting with my husband about who was attending and came to find out that one of his friends had not vaccinated his two children. I freaked-out a bit because I knew that a newborn was attending the party along with my 5-month son. My husband assured me since he was going through a bit of a difficult divorce with his wife, that his kids would be with her today. Okay, I said still feeling uneasy about the whole thing.
Come party time, the first person to show up was this friend and his two unvaccinated children. Panic ripped through me. Glaring at my husband my mine was racing:
What do we do, yes our son has had his first two rounds of vaccinations, but is that enough?
And the newborn for goodness sake!!!
Plus do I kick these two kids out of a party is that fare to them to ostracize for the choices of their parents.
I quickly grabbed my husband to have some words and while we were walking into the next room, the couple with the newborn showed up. I looked at my husband panic stricken and said “what do we do? We can’t endanger a newborn’s life, let alone our son’s?” I was currently coming up with elaborate plans in my head to keep the unvaccinated children away from the babies. Or thinking of nice ways to ask two lovely children to leave a party.
He looked at me calmly and said, “lets just be honest.”
Ah yes honesty, why didn’t I think of that? I guess broaching the issue at all, in anyway, can be hard, so why make it harder by employing elaborate plans.
Grabbing the couple I quickly told them the situation, while my husband went and spoke to his friend. The couple with the newborn was very understanding and was happy to stay as long as the unvaccinated kiddos didn’t try to cuddle the newborn, just to be safe. Having a 5 month old I seconded that. My husband friend was more than happy to agree as well. In the end it turned out that all the kids at the party stayed playing inside and all the adults and babies were outside around the fire. No diseases were passed on, no feelings hurt and fun was had by all.
I have to chalk this one up to a win for my husband for bringing common sense into the equation. Before this incident I was and still am a firm believer in vaccinating your children for the greater good. I would scoff at things online about anti-vaccers and their kids, but to be honest I never met anyone with unvaccinated children. Now I don’t agree with the parents’ choice here, however I had this great sympathy for these two children that I nearly kicked out of the party for the choices of their parents. It is something I have been reflecting on all week. I think these choices are unfair to them as a whole, because they are and will continue to be ostracized by society for the greater good of the “herd”. It is rightfully so, given the potential for them to pass on diseases. However, I am glad we employed common sense before we did or said something that would of hurt someone’s feelings or ruined all the fun for everyone. We made it work and that is important.