Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Many people think of autumn as the end of summer. It is my favorite time of year. When I think of autumn, I think of cool, crisp temperatures and colorful leaves. Oh, and flu shots. My mom was a big proponent of preventative medicine. Even as a child, we had flu shots. My best friend's dad was a surgeon. Once a year, usually around Halloween, select neighbors trooped into his kitchen for the yearly flu shot. As I remember it, we kids were usually in bed when we were rousted off to the neighbor's house. By the time we were fully awake, we'd be standing in line in our jammies, waiting for our shots. Pretty disturbing for someone (me) who hates needles. Every year, my sisters and I tried to distract my parents from noticing that flu shot season had arrived. There was a water tower with a needle on top at Trolley Square. Whenever we drove by it, we would go out of our way to make sure Mom or Dad didn't notice the big needle. In later years, we told Mom about our plot to distract. Her response? "What water tower?" I remember going to a haunted house at Halloween one year. One room looked like a mad scientist's laboratory. The person playing the mad scientist had a big hypodermic needle that he waved around menacingly. Instead of being frightened, we were more intent on making sure our parents skipped that room. I think we even chastised the scientist to "Stop waving that thing around!". Now that I'm all grown up, I try my best to be a good, conscientious mom. Every fall I insist my kids get a flu shot. I got mine today. In line, I had to keep my back to the nurse, or I might have run out of the room. It took a vision of myself hugging the toilet in the throes of the flu to keep me there. On the bright side, I wasn't in line in my jammies. Good thing, since I was at work. That would be hard to explain, and definitely not in compliance with the dress code.