When our daughter Frankie turned 5, it felt like suddenly a window opened up to her future. We were flooded with thoughts of how her personality would start to unfold as she grew older, and of who she could become. At 5 we started to get a glimpse of who that person will be.
Our daughter has an active imagination and is very observant. Once, when she was about 3 years old, we were looking out our window in New York, and some of the skyscrapers down on Wall Street were poking through the low clouds. Gazing out the window, Frankie exclaimed, “The buildings have beards!”
It’s becoming clear she will have an adventurous personality, especially when it comes to food — already eating mussels, fish eggs and gnawing away on chicken bones just like her father and grandmothers. She is not only adventurous when trying new foods, but she also enjoys traveling to new places with her active parents. All of this could change, and most likely will, as Frankie continues to grow into a teenager and eventually a young woman.
Our kids, Frankie and Molly, have a world of opportunity available to them. Like all parents, we don’t know what those opportunities will be. We are so lucky that our kids will have choices: the choice to follow their dreams and the choice to shape their own milestones. In many parts of the world, the lack of vaccinations means kids don’t have the choice or the opportunity to reach as many milestones.
A child reaching the age of 5 is a significant health milestone in much of the world; it means that the child has a much greater chance of surviving to adulthood. Today, we are leaving for Africa along with members of the Shot@Life team to observe UNICEF’s vaccinations teams at work. We hope to help provide parents and children around the world a chance to experience as many milestones as possible. Because moments matter. And comments count.
Amanda Peet is an Every Child by Two’ Vaccine Ambassador to the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign.
This post is inspired by Shot@Life, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation that educates, connects and empowers the championing of vaccines as one of the most cost effective ways to save the lives of children in the world’s hardest to reach places.
During Shot@Life’s Blogust, 31 bloggers, one each day in August, are writing about moments that matter. For every comment on this post and the 30 other posts, Walgreens will donate a vaccine (up to 50,000 vaccines). A child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease. We can change this reality and help save kids’ lives!
Sign up here for a daily email so you can quickly and easily comment and share every day during Blogust! Stay connected with Shot@Life at www.shotatlife.org, join the campaign on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. And be sure to check out Polly’s @LesbianDad post tomorrow. Thanks in advance for your comments, friends!