A Hanukkah Gratitude Practice – Day Three

Red Panda Cub had her 4-month pediatrician check-up today, and I’m happy to report that all is healthy and well! The foofooberry is growing like a champ and doing all the things a four month old human is normally capable of doing.

We’ve officially kept our child alive for one-third of her first year. Success!

Going to the doctor is a nice reminder of how much science has improved the average human life. Obviously we hope that all our visits will be straightforward, non-dramatic visits like this one — and I also believe that good overall health results from daily proactive choices that are supplemented by, but not strictly dependent on, visits to medical experts. But should something go seriously wrong with anyone in our family, we’re going to be leaning heavily on the weight of modern science to help get back to healthy.

I also have what I think is a healthy skepticism not of science, per se, but of scientific “certainty” that is all too often jaded or compromised by corporate or special interests / funding or just plain human fallibility. So it isn’t to say that things we thought were “scientifically true” at one point will not be revised or refuted later on. But in my mind, all the more so does this strengthen the argument for more science, not less. Science is an active state, a method. Stagnation and science do not go together.

It’s the third day of Hanukkah and we’re a third of the way through our first year with our little one. There’s a lot of Jewish symbolism and tradition around the number three — in Jewish law, once something is done three times, it’s considered permanent; time is broken into three states (past, present, future); and three is also used in the Torah to mediate between two opposing or contradictory values. Three is the great mediator, the number of truth.

So today, the third day of Hanukkah, I’m grateful* for science and the scientific effort to reveal more of what is true about our world — even or especially when things on the surface seem contradictory. Here are three specific things I’m grateful for, brought to us courtesy of science:

  1. Vaccines — I’d ask why, in 2017, this could still possibly be contentious. But, then, there’s a lot about 2017 that makes you seriously wonder about just about everything.
  2. Baby bottles that have a neat design that reduces gas. Less gas = happier baby;
  3. Fleecey onesies with ears that a) keep the baby nice and toasty; b) fit under the straps of a carseat; and c) make it look like the large stuffed teddy bear you won at the county fair has miraculously come to life as you’re walking down the street with your child in your arms.

We’ve talked about how all baby clothing should have ears, right? 

Thanks for reading and Happy Hanukkah!

*As a Hanukkah gratitude practice, I’m trying to do my small part of expanding holiness into the world through expressing accumulating gratitude each day of the holiday. You can catch up here on day one and day two.

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