We went to a chicken pox party a few weeks ago.
This is how it works: someone’s child has chicken pox and they invite people to bring their kids.
The idea is for the children to get it now instead of when they’re older and the disease can be much more uncomfortable and dangerous.
We brought over Seth (11) and Shayna (7).
All the kids played together and had a great time. Meanwhile we adults went out to a nice restaurant. We played together and had a great time too, at least until the check arrived.
For the next couple of weeks Shayna was asking, “When am I getting the chickens?”
I didn’t know. The first time we tried this we were late and the kid, though covered with scabs, was no longer infectious.
Finally she got a “chicken”.
One night she was a little itchy and showed us a small, reddish, slightly raised spot behind her shoulder. The next morning she showed us a couple more. “Not much of a disease,” I thought.
The next day a few more appeared here and there. She was in pretty good spirits, a little fever, and more pox showed up on her chest and back. I called a friend who has six children. “My daughter had maybe a few pox marks. It was nothing for her.”
“This’ll be a breeze,” I thought.
Then came the 3rd day.
Shayna’s trunk was covered. From her trunk it spread to her arms and legs and scalp. But the pox can also surface on mucous membranes and be in your mouth and some other private places that can be very uncomfortable. It did. Shayna was not happy; she was miserable and whiny. This was one unhappy girl. Her parents weren’t too thrilled either.
The homeopathic remedies people suggested seemed to help, as did the oatmeal baths.I told Shayna that kids often have growth spurts after they’ve been through a childhood disease.
It’s true. Childhood diseases challenge and strengthen their neuro-immune systems and parents have often reported physical and psychological developmental leaps after a bout of measles, mumps, chicken pox, etc. That’s why in India measles is referred to as the “Visitation of a goddess.”
“I’m having a growth spurt, Daddy,” she announced later that day. “Look, my arm is already longer.”
By the next day she was still miserable but getting a little better. Not all the pox will form blisters of pus. Those coming in later just stay as reddish blotches and then go away. It’s pretty dramatic. If I didn’t know about how benign it is I would be scared.
It’s interesting that the little blisters on the pox are full of the chicken pox virus. The body is externalizing the virus.
However that doesn’t happen when children are vaccinated. Childhood vaccinations bypass the nasopharynx and other mucous membranes that help combat and remove germs and toxins; the viri, bacteria, DNA and other chemicals in shots are injected deep into the body where they are not easily, if ever, externalized.
What happens to the foreign proteins and various chemicals that are injected into the child? No one knows. Is the child full of measles, mumps, chicken pox etc for life? No one knows.
Chicken pox is a mild disease kids get; it’s part of growing up. No big deal. The chances of a child actually dying from chicken pox are about the same as someone winning the lottery. But now letting your child get it naturally, with permanent immunity, has become a political and philosophical statement.
I don’t remember ever getting the mumps or German measles as a kid, but I remember having chicken pox and measles. Don’t know about any growth spurt. Maybe I need to get sick again?
Shayna is sitting in the big chair watching TV. Her older brother Seth, 11 knows that it’s an unwritten law that older siblings STAY UP LATER than younger ones. We’re violating that law tonight.
“Why does she get to stay up?”
“She’s sick and doesn’t have to go to school tomorrow.”
“That’s not fair.”
That’s his motto. I think he was born saying it. It’s his view of life. He is right, life isn’t fair. But he’s not staying up just the same.
“You’ve got school tomorrow.”
“Well, once when I was sick you made me go to bed early. It’s not fair.”
“Not everyone is sick the same way each time. Sometimes you have to go to bed when you’re sick. Shayna is past the painful part and she just needs to relax.”
OK, I didn’t tell that to him. He didn’t want to hear it. He just wanted to watch TV. I said, “Go to bed.”
“It’s not fair. You treat me like a baby. I’m the only one in my class who has to go to bed so early. Everyone else’s parents let them stay up all night….” etc. etc.
Who are these parents? I’m convinced they’re some imaginary amalgamation of kids who can do things he cannot: one kid’s parents let him stay up later than he can, another parent let’s his kid play more video games, another gives his kid every toy he wants, another let’s his kid drink cola and eat junk food, another let’s his kid drive, kill younger siblings etc.
So Seth is angry and stomps off to bed. “It’s not fair.”
Fifteen minutes later he jumps downstairs overjoyed. He discovered what appears to be a small chicken pox bump.
“Can I watch TV now?”