The Trip I Never Thought Could Happen
My daughter is currently in a city 4 hours from here without a parent.
This is it: the moment I thought would never come. No way. No how. She would NEVER grow up. At least not diabetes-wise.
I'm stunned that it's happening and even more stunned that I'm completely okay with it.
I was welcome to go on this trip- a service trip with the church's youth group. But this seemed, for several reasons, like the ideal opportunity for her to spread her wings.
-She's as ready as she'll ever be. She proves it every day. She especially proved it on the high school's spring music department trip which I, of my own free will, volunteered to chaperone so that I could be there 'just in case.' There was no 'just in case.' She did it all by herself while I shared a room with a (as it turned out, perfectly nice) stranger and worried endlessly about the whereabouts and safety of the rest of the kids.
-This trip is relatively close, just a four hour drive should I need to get there. And it's in the middle of a major city so there are hospitals, ambulances and pharmacies readily available should she need them.
-It's a small group: 6 kids and 2 adults. One of the kids is one of my daughter's closest friends. These kids genuinely like and care about each other. The chaperone to kid ratio is pretty great too.
-Speaking of chaperones, if I had to pick two people to send my kid away with for the first time, these two adults would be at the top of my list. Their willingness to take this on was, of course, one of the essential criteria. They're also responsible, concerned, and willing to learn everything necessary to support my daughter. And, probably most importantly, my daughter trusts them and likes them and will therefore include them in any issues she's having- diabetes-wise, and otherwise too.
-Lastly, and probably most importantly, my daughter was willing to go without me. That's been the bottom line for every big step towards diabetes independence we've made thus far. This decision was no different.
So far so good, considering the fact that diabetes does not travel well. One HIGH with double up arrows on the Dexcom required an emergency site change. An 82 at bedtime required some thinking about what to eat in order to make it until morning (a cherry Nutrigrain bar with no insulin- and yes, she made to morning). Otherwise she's guessing carbs as well as I could, remembering to carry her sack of dia-stuff, and keeping an eye on the Dexcom. I'm grateful to have the Dexcom share so I can check in when I'm worried, but I'm checking less than I thought I might.
Meanwhile she's having a huge adventure, both with the volunteer projects they're doing and with the sightseeing opportunities they're squeezing in whenever they can.
It's hard to wrap my head around how we got from a teeny, tiny person with diabetes who was totally dependent on me for every aspect of her care to this particular moment. It wasn't one giant step. It was a million teeny, tiny steps and suddenly, stunningly, here I sit over 200 miles away. And, inexplicably, I'm really pretty okay with it.