We are in the midst of what we affectionately refer to as the fall birthday season. In the midst of this year's string of gift wrap, parties and cake came an unexpected moment. My child attended a party without me for the whole time, and managed her own consumption of the birthday treat.
The party was at a nail salon where the girls were to get manicures and pedicures. When I arrived, I learned that birthday girl was to be honored with singing sometime in the middle of the party, and that the girls would be eating their cupcakes whenever it was not their turn to be pampered.
I had to make a game time decision. My choices were to stay in a small nail salon crowded with 10 year old girls for 2 hours, to tell my daughter not to eat anything at the party, or to let her handle the situation herself. As I looked around the salon, and experienced the (fun if you were 10) chaos, I quickly eliminated option one. And given any option besides telling my child she can't participate in something because she has diabetes, I choose it. So within a minute, it was settled. Independence was at hand.
We eyeballed the cupcakes to estimate the carbs, and negotiated a couple of pieces of candy corn. She stashed her bag with her meter and juice box in a safe but convenient place. I gave her a kiss and left. And guess what?
She was fine. She checked before her cupcake and bolused appropriately. She also got her fingernails painted bright orange, with white glittery peace signs. She had a great time with her friends, and welcomed the independence.
This success story was made possible by the convergence of a few positive variables. I knew and trusted the parent of the birthday girl, and she was familiar with my child and her diabetes. The cupcakes were easily countable, unlike an ice cream cake being carved up in randomly sized pieces. There are certainly still parties to come for which she's going to need more assistance.
Eventually, though, my daughter's going to need to handle every diabetes situation on her own. I know there will probably be some she doesn't handle as well as she did this one. But for now, it's encouraging to see that independence will continue to come, and that she was able to handle this situation with skill and grace.