The Hardest Thing

Sometimes it required effort to parent small children. Sometimes we were sleep deprived or didn't feel so great ourselves, and taking care of children was hard to do with an even temper. Sometimes it was frustrating to watch them be frustrated, or maddening to watch them be angry. Sometimes it was really really hard.

But the hardest thing of all, after all is said and done, is to hear that the child you tried to raise as an intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically intact human being has just received her anthrax vaccines and all the rest of them. And you know what such assaults on her immune system to do her, and you can hear the tears in her voice, and know that she is in the middle of the emotional reverberations and because of this she just thinks she's a little emotional today. She never will remember (because you don't remember such things about yourself either) that there is a reason for the tremors in her voice and inner compass.

So you tell her to find a good health food store and look up the homeopathic remedy for the effects of these vaccines, and you repeat yourself until she hears you. If all else fails, you say, take some Arnica. Arnica is for shock. And then you resolve keep tabs on her for the next week or so, to make sure she is okay.

And then you remember.

In a couple of months she'll be in Afghanistan and there are no remedies there.

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