The Seemingly Impossible
What parent hasn't wondered about at least one of these scenarios:
-Mary will still be in diapers in middle school.
-I hope they make Velcro baseball cleats because Jonny's never going to learn to tie his laces.
-Why is Susie the only child who hasn't mastered scissors?
Likewise, the diabetes parent list:
-Bobby better go to college nearby since I'll be there every few days to help with his site change.
-I don't see how Matt can go to Kindergarten without me being in the building with him all day.
-Guess I'll be Ellie's prom date since she'll need help counting her carbs at dinner.
As I began to write a few paragraphs about last week's school field trip, during which my daughter admirably calculated carbohydrates and dosed insulin for unfamiliar Spanish food from a buffet table, I felt like I was bragging. It felt selfish to celebrate the success.
But I thought some more and realized that my goal was not to brag at all. My goal was to admit that until very recently, I thought this might never be possible.
When I share the story of the successful field trip I'm remembering the dozens of field trips I've attended to keep her safe. I'm remembering the hours, over the course of years, she's spent learning to be comfortable with counting carbs. I'm remembering surviving the anxiety of the first times she ate somewhere without me. I'm remembering all of the other diabetes 'all by myself' milestones she's passed over the years. I'm remembering that while she's survived all of them: the first low when I wasn't around, going to school, the birthday party, the sleepover, calculating restaurant carbs by herself, and so many more, I continue to assume that the next one will never happen.
I do get glimmers of hope, though. Blog posts about kids who've survived a gymnastics themed birthday party, changed their own sites, or gone on an overnight trip with another family have, over the years, led me to believe that these may be possible for my kid too. Blogs written by adults living with diabetes give a glimpse into the future. These people seem to be caring for their diabetes completely independently while simultaneously having productive lives, families, and fun adventures. Reading these stories reminds me that these days will come for my daughter despite all of the reasons I irrationally assume they might not.
When I share the story of the Spanish trip, or the site change or the sleepover I do so because maybe someone else out there needs a glimmer of hope; a reminder that the seemingly impossible may one day actually happen.