It struck me unaware and unsuspecting the other day.
We were shopping. And as I turned down an aisle, there was a family. A mother, father, and little girl about Sweetpea's age.
The little girl was drinking a juice box. And no one was watching her like a hawk. No one was making sure she drank it all (or only half). No one was paying attention to juice box at all.
She was drinking the juice box - in the middle of the store, in the middle of the day, without a meal.... because she was..... THIRSTY.
Can you even imagine?!?
And I had a pang of jealousy. Of wishing it were that easy for us.
It's happened at the pool, too.
Being at the pool filled with happy, splashing children.
Children who are eating chips out of bags. NO ONE IS COUNTING HOW MANY THEY EAT!
Children who swim for hours without being watched. And checked. And monitored.
Children who eat lunch. Then go back half an hour later for an ice cream. Or candy. Or chips. Or all of it. Children who graze all day.
Children who do not have to have their swimsuit lifted up so they can be connected to the machine that gives them the medicine that keeps them alive.
Children who play in the sand without a mother worrying about sand in the site.
Children sitting on blankets eating.... FUN DIP! Good Lord, PURE SUGAR! That and swimming is a recipe for disaster.
Danielle at Where Candy is Medicine just wrote a post about this... Click to read it for yourself.
She talked about how her daughter was looking for the carb count on something she was eating. And how sometimes it makes us D mommies sad that our babies know and think about such things.
Sweetpea does it, too. When she plays in her kitchen, she talks about how many carbs are in the things that she's making. ALL of her babies and animals have diabetes. She plays doctor and gives them shots. She talks about them being high and low. She talks about them needing to be tested. She talks about changing their basal rates and whether or not they need a bolus.
It's cute. It's sweet. It's good for her to play that way.
It's just sometimes hard to watch other children playing so differently.
We went to the zoo. Kids were walking around with ice cream and cotton candy and bags of popcorn. Happily munching away. No one even giving it a second thought. Except for the mom who was thinking, "I hope she doesn't see that ice cream and ask for some. She just got her lunch insulin and it would better if she waited.... I hope she doesn't ask for cotton candy. That would NOT be good."
It's all around us. There's no way to escape it. And most of the time I don't think twice. Most of the time I hope she doesn't see it, I hope she doesn't ask for it, and I move on.
Of course, I NEVER show any of these thoughts to Sweetpea. I don't want her to think about it or know that she's different and it's different for her.
Of course, she already knows. She's not stupid. But if I don't let it bother me, then it won't bother her. At least not yet.
But sometimes..... sometimes the normalcy of drinking a juice box cuts me like a knife.
But what can I do?
I let myself feel that for a few minutes. Then I pull it together and use it as motivation.
Because wishing that Sweetpea could drink a juice box like every other kid - wishing that she didn't have diabetes - is like wishing that I really had green eyes.
My eyes are blue. Nothing will change that.
The closest I could get is wearing green contacts. And like a pump - or an artificial pancreas - it's close.... but not the same.
So I take my jealousy. Or fear. Or sadness. Or whatever.
And I put it toward our walk. And education. And my hope that ONE DAY our wishes will come true.