By Gabrielle.

With six kids, I don’t think we’ve ever had a year when we didn’t have a visit to the doctor that included a shot. Usually several. Last month, I went in to get travel shots for my Ethiopia trip. I needed vaccinations for Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio and Whooping Cough. When we moved to France, part of getting permission to live here included getting a few of these, so I only needed 4 to be caught up for the Ethiopia trip.

Like most everyone on the planet, I generally avoid getting shots. And I absolutely can’t watch as the needle goes in, or I’ll get queasy. But as I was sitting in the doctor’s office, I had a flashback of early morning, sitting in my pjs on a bar stool at our kitchen counter, watching my father take his insulin needles out of the fridge for his daily shot. And with that flashback came the always shocking reminder that shots are a daily part of so many people’s lives. It’s so strange, isn’t it, the things we get used to?

In case you’re curious, the shots didn’t hurt at all — not even a pinch. My arms were only sore for a couple of days afterward, and as an extra bonus, the kids were impressed with all my band aids. Easy peasy. I think it’s good for me to be reminded about what the process feels like so I can be more compassionate toward my kids when it’s their turn.

When’s the last time you had a shot? Have you ever visited a country that required vaccinations? Want the funny band aids? They’re from Urban Outfitters. (Here are some other ones that made me laugh.)

P.S. — I also have boxes of malaria pills to take while I’m there (they are expensive!). I’ve heard mixed stories about them. Have you ever taken them? I’d love to hear.

I’m traveling to Ethiopia with and OneMoms. By joining ONE, you add your voice to millions who want to make a difference in the fight against malnourishment and hunger. ONE will never ask for donations and will keep your contact details confidential. I hope you’ll join.