The (Im)possible Field Trip
Something caught my eye as I skimmed through the school communications three years ago, at the end of my daughter's 5th grade year. The 8th grade was preparing for its annual end-of-year celebration field trip. They would be going to a family resort over an hour away. They'd leave early in the morning and return around six at night. There would be swimming, boating, a ropes course, tennis, volleyball, hiking and countless other fun outdoor activities. Lunch and snacks would be served. The only chaperones would be school staff. And I thought, 'No way. There is no way she'll be able to participate in that. The diabetes stuff is way too complicated.'
Last Friday I dropped her off in time to board a bus for the very same trip, without a second thought. I made sure she'd packed well, filling a string bag with her meter, juice boxes, glucose tabs, smarties, and her dexcom. She had a deep desire to keep her blood sugar in range so that she could play tennis, swim, and try the ropes course rather than spend any time with the nurse. But the nurse was there, just in case, both to help if needed and to be a source of back-up supplies. Lunch was easy to count: hot dog and hamburger buns, pretzels, watermelon. The 8th grade teachers all know my kid, and they were stationed around the property to supervise the activities. I knew that they would help her if she needed it.
Especially considering what a big deal the idea of this trip felt like when she was a 5th grader, by last week it felt like no big deal at all. It turns out she's come a long way in the past 3 years. She can count carbs with the best of them, keep an eye on how she feels, carry her own supplies, troubleshoot problems and trust her own judgement.
The only conversation she had with the nurse was at the door of the bus for the return trip home:
Nurse: Hi! Everything good?