YIMBY 2: Band Camp
Last week I wrote about how comforted I was that my daughter attended a preschool which was, essentially, in our backyard. Similarly comforting, despite a ten year lapse in time, was that last week's marching band camp was located adjacent to our (subsequent) backyard. We moved a few years ago, to a house with my daughter's then-elementary school behind it. Our realtor contacted us at the start of middle school to make sure we didn't want to move again but, as it turned out, it came in handy that we stayed put.
Band camp is usually held at the high school (a whole block and a half away from our house) but due to some construction in the building and on its fields, the week of camp was held at the elementary school behind our house. The trek is a little longer than to preschool since our current backyard is surrounded by an 8 foot fence. Lacking pole vaulting skills, my daughter has to walk all the way around the corner to get to the school. But it was still incredibly convenient, and comforting.
My daughter is obviously much more independent than she was in preschool, or even during the couple of years she attended this backyard elementary school as a 3rd and 4th grader. Yet marching band camp is a long, intense week in our town. It runs from 9-9 every day, except for an hour stop home for dinner. That's a long stretch of time to handle all things diabetes by herself; especially factoring in heat, exercise and the stress which comes with doing something new. As I wrote about a few weeks ago, the band directors are glucagon trained and have been familiarized with how to handle emergencies. But there's no nurse, nobody who's looking out especially for her diabetes, nobody to turn to if she needs to double-check an insulin dose and nobody to sit with her if she's low.
I could hear the band all day from my dining room table office set-up. This part was not always a perk. The brass section practiced the same 4 measure phrase for an hour and a half one morning while standing just on the other side of the afore-mentioned fence. But it was kind of neat to spy on the evening full show rehearsals on the back field. No matter the entertainment value, it was nice to know that, save an hour here or there for other commitments, I was next door and able to be her diabetes support system if she needed me.
In the end, it mirrored the preschool experience. Her proximity benefitted her just once, when she was able to make a quick stop home during the lunch break to swap out an almost-empty insulin cartridge from her pump. Beyond that, it was comforting to know how little I'd been needed after all.