My Tribe

Victor’s father was the perfect hippie, because all hippies were tryin’ to be Indians anyway.

-Thomas, Smoke Signals

This is one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite authors in one of my favorite movies, so really its like a Superquote to me. I relate to it, because its true. I will post about my embarrassing “romanticised Indian culture” phase one day, because its actually pretty hilarious. Jiji was the first real Indian I ever met, so she got to witness my pathetic ignorance first hand.

I publicly exposed my family history today on Rocky Mountain Moms Blog. I hope they’re not too pissed, because I love them and their dirty hippie ways dearly. Even though they were directly responsible for allowing me to pursue frivolous hobbies such as tarot card reading, astrology and numerology studying, watercolor-painting, Shakespeare-reading and basket-weaving, I owe them for a very interesting childhood.

If you would like a glimpse, read it here.

Christmas Tree Euphoria

My 2nd post is up at Rocky Mountain Moms Blog. I have yet to be syndicated like the fabulous April did with this amazing post, but that’s ok.  We’re instructed to write about how the economy is affecting our holiday, so I’ll be attempting  a meaningful post soon.

LB and I bought our Christmas tree last night. This is the first time I’ve ever bought a tree from a lot. In the grand tradition of  cheap hard-core, Colorado hippies, my family always buys a permit from the forest service and we hike through BLM land to cut our own funky-looking tree. 

Last year, the culmination of Rooferman dropping us like a bad habit, the post-egg donation sickness and the move-in to my first apartment left me devoid of any Christmas spirit. I managed to hang a stocking and display my child’s artwork, but a tree was beyond my emotional, mental and physical capabilities.

This year, we are in full Christmas swing. My wonderful boss has purchased us tickets to ride the Polar Express. LB’s godmother also happens to work for the train, so she’s tagging along for free, and bringing Auntie JL. As for the Christmas Tree, the thought of trudging through the high country accompanied by a very unhelpful (but extremely eager) 2.5 year old, did nothing to inspire me. So I joined the rest of the consumers and bought a semi-attractive tree for less than $30.

Now my house is fully enveloped in the delicious aroma of Douglas Fir. LB witnessed her mommy literally stick her face in the tree branches while choosing which tree to purchase. My Gemini child now regards her Pisces mother with slight apprehension. She already thinks I’m crazy and I didn’t even have to wait till teenhood!

Seriously, can I forever inhale this aroma? Maybe its only this good because it comes once a year. Maybe the association with Christmas makes it that much sweeter. I can’t believe I deprived myself of this smell last year!  If a man walked by me smelling like conifers, I would probably turn on my heel and follow him off a cliff.  Maybe I am crazy, but just smelling a Christmas Tree sends me into a drug-like euphoria.

The space in my apartment may be closing in with the addition of the tree, but I would swap living area for the high of being near this smell any day. Jenn caught this VERY early this year. I think its official. I’ve been bitten by the Christmas Bug. I even decorated my office (and I HATE doing this, because its just assumed that its the secretary/receptionist/admin assistant’s responsibility).

In other news, I talked to Mr. Mediator today and asked if Rooferman had called to schedule an appointment yet, since we return to court again next Thursday (holy s***). Rooferman has NOT contacted him. Mr. Mediator commented on how shoddy this was for him to wait until the last minute, and I should NOT cover his ass and schedule this FOR him. He told me when my daughter’s father gets his act together and actually calls him, he will be happy to mediate. I immediately sent a text message to Rooferman, informing him of the situation and that THIS NEEDS TO HAPPEN SOON. So we’ll see if he did anything when I pick up LB tonight.

I guess we’ll also see if he offers to drive her home again tonight.

To answer Karma’s comment: LB has been telling me some things. Mostly that “Daddy angry. Daddy mad at me. I cry. I fall down.” Of course when I asked Rooferman about this, he says he doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

I hope he gets coal in his stocking for Christmas.

To Vaccinate

I think I’ve mentioned only a few times how I was raised….”outside of the box” by reasonably odd/progressive hippies. Dad was a musician/jack-of-all-trades, and mom was a social worker/teacher/angry feminist. Add my dad’s parents, who were Christian Scientists, to the equation, and people basically thought of our family as “the freaks”. Most people thought my grandparents belonged to that “Creepy Hollywood cult that Tom Cruise is a member of,” to which I would respond…. “HUH?”

My mom put me in cloth diapers, tie-dyed my onesies, added tofu to my tuna sandwiches, threw the TV in the garbage, and refused to get my vaccinations. Yeah, we were total radicals, but mostly just freaks. My mom was outspoken, serious, smart and most of my childhood friends were scared of her. My dad was silly, goofy, “in his own world” and most of my high school friends were convinced he smoked pot.

But the decision to be shot-free never seemed like such a big deal (thankfully, my sister and I were healthy kids, and never traveled over seas), until I became a mom myself. Then I realized what a HUGE decision it was NOT to vaccinate. I’ve had moms tell me straight up that they don’t want their kids around my daughter because she didn’t get her shots, like she’s some kind of carrier monkey. Like we live in the days of the Bubonic Plague.

Growing up in a idealistic bubble of positive energy, I’m used to rude awakenings by now. In high school, I wasn’t so prepared. Not only did my parents refuse to give me my shots, they also forgot to tell me that during adolescence, you should probably start wearing deodorant. To them, its not what you looked (or in my case, smelled) like, or how you presented yourself, its whats inside that counts. Needless to say,  most of my freshman year of high school was spent in the bathroom crying, trying to figure out why no human being would get within a 3 foot radius of me. I have subsequently developed a phobia were I’m convinced I stink all the time.

I know there’s such thing as good health, and that all parents should teach their kids how to follow social norms, but does getting your kid vaccinated fall into that basic group? Are you putting your kid at risk for permanent damage if you refuse to get their shots? Yes, but I would say that MANY decisions you make for your child put them at some sort of risk. My parent’s decision not to place “typical” social expectations on me, has definitely caused a little emotional damage to my self-esteem. Some could say that letting a teenage girl who didn’t realize she may offend people with her “all natural” aroma into public high school, is selfish, cruel and dangerous.

Do I hate them for the decision they made?

No.

Well, not anymore at least.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, and believe me, I grew up with a lot of crazy hippies ranting about the Moon’s position with Mars, and how the end of the world is coming. My dad has friends who believe that you shouldn’t pay your taxes, because there is no law saying you have to. I was told by my first boss that according to the ancient health philosophy of Ayurveda, all I needed to clear up my acne was to eat 3 limes a day. Yeah, I’ve heard some stories.

I’m not convinced that vaccinations cause Autism. I’m not one of those hyper-health-conscious moms who only let their kids drink soy and have gluten-free diets. However, I cannot deny the fact that the Autism rate has gone from 1 in 10,000 in the early 80’s to 1 in 150 currently. That fact FLOORS me. What has changed in our world during the last 25 years to make this such a crazy statistic? 1 in 150? CHRIST that’s a lot of kids. Is it a change in our environment? Our society? Our health care system?

I was reading about a class action lawsuit that over 5300 families are involved in. A lawsuit that is against the government, trying to prove the link between Autism and Vaccinations. Yeah, I know, we Americans are a sue-happy country, but there was something about this case that got to me. The government apparently has a fund set up, a fund with over 2 billion dollars, in order to protect itself from lawsuits ONLY involving shots and vaccinations. Its called the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. When I heard this, I was like WTF? The government has a fund with BILLIONS of dollars JUST to pay off families who have been injured by vaccinations? Why have a fund if you knew you weren’t gonna use it? I don’t wanna go off on a government rant, but obviously this fund is in place to protect the vaccine manufacturers from getting sued, and such an overwhelming amount of people have apparently been injured by vaccinations. If you go to the federal website, it still claims that “there is no link between vaccinations and Autism.” But the government also claimed that DDT wasn’t responsible for killing off wildlife, and we also once believed the world was flat.  I’m torn when I think about those 5300 families, searching for answers as to why their kids are afflicted with such a mysterious disorder, but is it just coincidence that so many families feel the  exact same way? 5300 is a lot of people.

 For me, there are too many unanswered questions about Autism, and until the link to vaccinations are completely ruled out, I’m probably going to remain skeptical. However, I’m not going to judge anyone who decides to get their kids shots. I’ve heard lots of cases where both kids got shots and only one is Autistic, or both kids got shots and neither are Autistic, so how can you prove anything?

I’m not trying to discredit any Doctor’s recommendations here, but I definitely don’t trust pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies or the government’s relationship to either of them. If we lived in a perfect society, where nothing was corrupt, I may be less suspicious. Until then, I consider it my job as a mom to do the research, compare the facts, and trust in my own instincts. Also, to send my daughter to high school wearing deodorant.