Three Updates: HPV Vaccine Cost; Gift to Graduate; Rob’s Trip

I remembered three of the things I haven’t updated about:

1. A long time ago when I wrote about getting the HPV vaccine for Rob, I was very alarmed by a couple of the comments that said their insurance didn’t cover it for boys, and that the shots cost hundreds of dollars. First I confirmed the price: I asked the receptionist to look up the price without insurance, and it was $250 for each of the three doses—so, $750. I’d already had the first shot given to Rob, so at that point I was potentially out $250, and it’s not like I was going to skip the next two doses, so I had to do a little breathing and resign myself to the possibility of $750.

My hope, however, was that our insurance WOULD cover it—or that if they didn’t, they would do so by the time the next three boys were ready for the vaccine. It’s ridiculous for them NOT to cover it, since it’s the boys who are doing most of the transmitting of the virus from woman to woman, but as Paul says, “You’re making the mistake of assuming these things are based on logic.” Happily, our insurance covered it completely, and even sent us letters urging us to remember the second and third shots in the series.

Since then, the recommended age for the vaccine has decreased AND we’ve changed insurance companies, so William has now completed his series of three shots; his shots too were covered completely by the new insurance company. (In fact, he’d had one shot under the old insurance and two under the new, which worried me—but we never heard anything about it, so apparently it was fine.)


2. The opinions on what to do about a graduation gift for the girl I took care of when she was an infant were ALL OVER THE SPECTRUM. I mean, they ranged from “You absolutely have to get her something, and it should be BIG” to “It would be a weird to get her something, and might make the mom feel really uncomfortable.” As Carla put it, “So the responses on this are SO WIDE RANGING you can feel free to do whatever!” Putting the possible outcomes on the balance scale, I was more afraid to make the mom feel awkward about sending the announcement than I was afraid of making the child feel like I didn’t care because I didn’t send money, so I sent a card (no check) in which I wrote how fondly I remember her babyhood and how amazing it was to me that so much time had passed; I closed with my continuing fond wishes for her happy future. I loved the idea of including a picture of me holding her, and if I’d had one I definitely would have done that. (Oh I wish I had one!!)

My second favorite idea was the one about giving a check for $20.14: it seemed to me that the FUNness of the amount made it seem less like Giving Money and more like “This is what I do for all graduates, no big deal and no reason to feel awkward.” After I mailed the card, I even had second thoughts and considered mailing the check with a little note about forgetting to put it in the card, but then I thought no, I would stick with the plan.

I also agreed with everyone who said $25 seemed like a lot more than $20 somehow; I’m going to keep that in mind for the future. I’m also filing away the idea of getting gift cards to a coffee shop or restaurant near the graduate’s future college, or a gift certificate for the college gift shop.


3. Rob’s school trip went FINE. And by “fine” I mean it went just as many of you comfortingly predicted: full of problems, but everyone handled it and everything was okay. He came home and said it went GREAT, and then he was enthusiastically telling me the whole story and I was pale and wide-eyed as he related one alarming thing after another, with him saying “Ug, it was FINE, Mom!” after each one. (Me: “THAT DOES NOT REALLY SOUND FINE!” Rob: “IT WAS FINE.”)

7 thoughts on “Three Updates: HPV Vaccine Cost; Gift to Graduate; Rob’s Trip

  1. Ruby

    So it sounds like everything turned out fine, which is great! I especially enjoyed hearing about Rob’s trip. I went on quite a few parent-free trips in high school and college, and I’m sure my parents were probably horrified at the stories I told upon returning! There was the time a small group of us got lost in a large, non-English-speaking city…or the time we were supposed to catch a train to our next destination but the bus was an hour late…or the time I went on a road trip with friends and we got in a minor car accident. In all of those situations we were able to find our way back/catch a different train/call a tow truck, and everything was fine, but I had a hard time convincing my parents of that! If anything, those experiences make the trip more memorable. He’ll love to tell those stories later on!

  2. Leigh

    Now that Rob’s back safely I can tell you the story about my first parent-free trip, when I was fourteen; it was a church trip with mostly adults and only a handful of teens, and somehow my best friend and I managed to spend an entire day walking around Washington DC completely unchaperoned. We thought it was no big deal and had a wonderful time, but my parents were APPALLED (rightfully) and I don’t think they ever completely forgave any of the adults on the trip for paying so little attention.

  3. Gigi

    So glad to hear Rob’s trip went fine – despite your thinking that the mishaps didn’t sound fine. It’s a learning experience for him. They usually learn more from those mishaps when a parent isn’t around to “fix” it.

  4. Shawna

    On the one hand, I haven’t lived with my parents for the summer since I was 14 (when I was 15 I went to Nerd Summer Science School voluntarily to get ahead over the summer, and from 16 onwards I sublet cheap places from students in the city so I could get a summer job without buying a car and commuting) and I was in SO MANY HARROWING SITUATIONS that would have usually made a mother’s hair stand on end (not MY mother, who has always had a steadfast faith I could take care of myself). Yet I got through completely unscathed.

    On the other hand, I cannot imagine letting my babies do anything similar. Possibly because I recognize that I could have had such bad things befall me, and it was just dumb luck that nothing seriously awful ever happened. I mean, I’m even hesitant to let my well-intentioned-yet-not-very-attentive dad take them camping overnight, because what if Something Happens?

  5. Laura Diniwikl

    ZOMG my work stopped blocking your blog! BEST DAY EVERRRRRRR!!!! I am going to get some candy and do a giant Swistle binge and get all caught up and the world will be right again. AHHH!!!

    Due to my inability to dedicate blog reading time outside work hours (ha) I am only up to speed on the graduation dilemma. I think you totally did the right thing, and that a number of those suggestions would have been perfectly fine too. I particularly like the gift certificate to college town restaurant or bookstore idea, filing that one away as well.

  6. Joanne

    As an update, my mom came over today and told me that she organized my nephew’s graduation gifts. She said he got almost $1500 in checks and cash and $70 in gift cards. She also nosed out that his aunt on my SIL’s side gave him $100, which is good because that’s what we were going to give him, ha!

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