Friday, October 22, 2010

Dicey Territory

The boy and I drove into town today to meet hubby for lunch. Traffic was slower than normal for mid day. I expected the rain had we desert dwellers driving more cautiously than usual. I credited the unauthorized vehicles skidded onto the road median as other traffic contributors. Then I noted slowing by the Air Force Academy scenic overlook, as a brightly painted van proclaimed "NO to Abortion! YES to Amendment 62!" Traffic in the name of politics. Hooray.

For Coloradans, it's a bit like Deja vu. In 2008, it was Amendment 48, where we voted whether or not to define a "person" as a "person" from the moment of fertilization. Amendment 48 was defeated decisively.

With Amendment 62, we no longer need to cast our innocent eyes upon the sexually explicit term "fertilization". Now, according to, we get to decide if we want to define a "person" as "every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being." Oh. Okay. Thanks. Because that is WAY different.

Gualberto Garcia Jones, the Colorado Personhood Director, indicated in The Colorado Independent that the change in verbiage from 48 to 62 provides for a more comprehensive definition. Jones stated, "(f)ertilization would not have properly applied to asexually reproduced humans, but even asexually reproduced human beings have a definite biological beginning." Ah! Now I get it! This new amendment would cover the constitutional rights of my spores should I decide I wish to try my hand at sporogenesis. Or maybe binary fission. Gosh, that has ALWAYS looked like a hoot! Why should prokaryotes have all the fun?

Alright, look, I'm not here to try to sway your opinion on any pro-life v. pro-choice issues, or matters of genetic research. Personally, I was raised (yes, even by my shockingly right winged parents) to believe that a woman's body is her own, and any questionable governmental interference there should be avoided, but believe what you will. I'm just hung up on that commute hindering van. Why? On its side, visible to all southbound traffic were the words:

"To kill a child is to kill Christ"

What?! That's a claim and half, made all the more penetrating by the blood-wrought portrait of Jesus, dangling over the words from his crucifix. I found the portrait, the claim, the van, offensive to my senses! It made me want to yell at the top of my lungs, "NO! NO, IT'S NOT!!!"

Putting aside, the key argument (which, fear not, will rear its head again in a moment), I was horrified to see those words. Printed. ANYWHERE, much less roadside, like a flashing marquis advertising $14.99 Snuggies at Walgreens. It was emotion, poisoning philosophical reasoning. I instinctively recoiled.

After the recoil, logic kicked in. IS killing a child like killing Christ? For arguments sake, let's even say a birthed, living, air-breathing, food consuming child. Is killing that child like killing Christ? The murder of Christ was pretty world-altering. Child murder is unspeakably heinous. But... I just can't even bring the two issues side by side.

Why can't I? For me, it comes down to this... I think of Pontius Pilate facing a handful of legally exempt PTO moms, and I think, okay, Pilate has the potential to take some heat. I think of those same PTO moms unleashed on a child murderer and I think, brutal carnal devastation.

So. I see the equation as unequal. Maybe my inner Christian isn't glowing when I say this, but I might see child murder as even a greater offense. Does this prove the Personhood Organization's position that Colorado should pass Amendment 62?

No! Because the question is, what sociological situation dictates that a biological cellular structure or cluster must be removed from the jurisdiction of said cell structure's/cluster's genetic predecessor(s)? when should a 'person' become a viable entity that others can control with more legal power than that 'person's' God-given natural guardian(s)? THAT is the issue at hand... and though I understand there are personal, complex implications for specific religious sects, or for anyone, when it comes to abortion, I just don't see how the definition of a 'person' could imply anyone is presently killing Christ.

It's akin to a comment my sister used to make to me: "Look! Our hair is the same color, because our belly buttons are in the same place!"

Just because a statement appears poignant, it doesn't mean it makes any sense at all, much less has any relevance.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cliche Clarity

This tooth fairy business isn't for the weak. I mean.... I guess it's for anybody with a kid, because there is really no escape, and there are lots of ways you can handle it (even for you wimp parents who realized too late that parenthood was going to rock your yellow-bellied invertebrate tendencies- oh wait, that was me). It's kind of... well, tricky and gross-ish. Our Pediatrician won't even look at Abi's loose teeth. They make her squeamish. The woman can deal with all kinds of disgusting baby body habits, but she can't handle wiggly teeth. I don't get it, but you know... she cures infections, so it's a trade off.

Now, truth be told, I'm not squeamish about bodily things, for the most part. Eyes used to be tough for me, but I've overcome that. This tooth thing though, while not stomach-churning, is still really tricky. I am finally getting the new understanding of the cliche, "it's like pulling teeth."

First, the tooth is barely loose, and she wants to wiggle it like crazy. Then it's only slightly more loose, and she wants me to pull it. I grab it, wiggle it. It seems it's still cemented. I offer to punch her to get it out, she laughs at me and I spend the rest of the week dodging the Division of Child Welfare. After a few weeks, it gets truly, legitimately loose. She tells me to pull it, then says she wants to do it. She asks for an ice cube, and wants me to pull it again. I grab hold, and it gives a little, but still isn't ready to come out. For as much as I'm not squeamish, I'm not really sure of the right thing to do. Do I hold tight, and rip at it as hard as i can? Is there any medical issue with that? Haven't yards of string and slamming doors been ripping out teeth for decades? Even if it hurt a little, it might be better than fussing over the unrelenting tooth for days and days on end. Then, if it's unrelenting, is it best to wait until it.... relents?

Okay, it's baby tooth. I understand at some point it will come out. Still! Honestly! Pulling teeth is like.... PULLING TEETH!

I finally soothed the anxious tooth shedding beast by telling her if the tooth comes out at school tomorrow, she'll get a cool little treasure box to put it into and bring home. So the tooth remains for another day. Fantastic.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

battling epidemy one hug at a time

Well, school is back in session and cold and flu season is upon us. The children have had their flu vaccinations for the year, so we're all so pleased that there are some strains of something that won't make us as sick as they otherwise could.

Meanwhile, just over a week ago I was informed by a parent at school that her son (in my daughter's class) just returned to school after a bout of walking Pneumonia. Poor kid.

Most of the other kids seem pretty healthy otherwise. Except for one. Abi has been telling me for over a week how someone who sits right next to her has been out for days. She was excited to finally hear news of her friend.

"I found out my friend will be back in school on Monday, Mommy!" I was told early this morning. "I think they said she had the same sick that (the walking Pneumonia child) had."

"You're kidding!?" I said. Visions of a class wide epidemic were dancing in my head. I tried to keep my calm. Chances are Abi won't have been exposed. "Well... Abi, what symptoms did your friend have before she left school sick?"

"Not much," she said. "She was just really cold... so I had to hug her to keep her warm."


We had flu shots.