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February 28, 2023

TEEN SCARE!

Monday mornings come with “Blues”. However, despite the rush I was amazed to see my 13-year-old trying to cover her face with all kinds of scarves trying to hide something.

My 10-year-old son came out with a mischievous smile and began to read out the Kenn Nesbitt poem…

I had a little problem.
It gave me quite a scare.
I looked into the mirror
and saw a pimple there.

That pimple was enormous
and growing on my nose,
both bigger than a button,
and redder than a rose.

I knew my friends would notice.
I thought that they would stare.
I figured they would laugh at me
to see that pimple there.

There was more to the poem but he decided to stop there.

The tears in my daughter’s eye wouldn’t stop and the howling began. She didn’t want to go to school. That’s when I needed to intervene.

How many of us as mother’s go through this nightmare as we see our teens grow up? We ourselves have gone through this pain many a times. Most of us attribute it to the hormonal changes the body undergoes. But that’s not all that is to it.

Do our kids really know about the invisible organs that work for us to keep us healthy?

So, when confronted with this situation, I knew what my daughter needed to know.

She had to be made aware of the microbial world that was part of her. So, when questioned about their existence her prompt reply was “Mom! I have a skin care regime. I use the anti-bacterial soap to wash my face twice a day, apply an anti-acne cream every day. I am trying hard but despite all that I get are these massive pimples and sometimes the never diminishing acne. Also look at the blackheads on my nose…not a single inch of my face is clear. And you are asking me whether I am aware of the microbes? I am doing all this to keep the microbes away!!”

She was exaggerating about her skin issues, some of them were imaginary but probably she was venting out every teen’s fear.

But she had got everything wrong! She had learnt that all microbes were bad and caused diseases! Nobody had told her about the good microbes!

“Good Microbes? Come on Mom! Do they even exist?” she asked. “Yes! They do and just like any ecosystem both bad and good microbes have to be maintained in balance. Good Microbes have to be nurtured and cared for, so that the bad microbes can be kept in control. And mind you these days we do everything to wipe out all the microbes whether good or bad!”

She glanced at me, understanding what I wanted to say, walked up to her cabinet, picked up the anti-bacterial soap and threw it in the dustbin.

-Team Microbiome Superhero

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