I know we can all remember the first words our children said. It's such a special thing that we don't ever forget it.
But do you remember the first words your child wrote or read?
About a year ago, Sweetpea wrote her first word. It was her name. Quickly followed by "MOM". I kept that little scrap and it's hanging from my vanity mirror.
Recently, Sweeptea has started to read. She's reading short little books with very repetitive text. It's more memorization but she's doing many of things that readers do. And just like with my students, I emphasize that she IS reading!!
She can recognize some basic words. The first was her name. Then she learned Mom and Dad and cat and dog.
But you know what the next word was?
Yes, seriously. She read HOPE.
How? Well... It's a long story.
Back in the spring, I went to a jewelry party hosted by Misty at Life is Like A Box of Chocolates. I know - you're jealous! Misty and I live about five minutes from each other! This party was super special because a percentage of the sales were going to JDRF.
Many of us D Moms ordered a silver ring with the word HOPE engraved on it. (Many of us also ordered it to fit our middle fingers as an inside joke way of giving D 'the bird'. Hey- if you don't laugh, you'll cry!). Being the super sweet person that she is, Misty and her girls gave Sweetpea a HOPE ring of her own for her one year diaversary!
Then, a couple of months later, one of my wonderful friends gave me a very special necklace for my birthday. It is a silver ring with the words FAITH HOPE CURE engraved around it.
I was wearing this special necklace when Sweetpea spied it. It was then that she said, "Hope. It says Hope on it!"
My first thought was, "Wow. What a smart little sugar cookie she is!"
And then I thought about the significance of her being able to read that word.
I teach children to read. I know how unique it is to have that be one of the first words you learn.
It made me realize how diabetes doesn't bring only horrible things into your life.
If you are reading this, you know the bad things. I don't really need to elaborate.
But D also brings good things.
Learning how strong you really are.
New relationships - in real life AND in your computer!
The bonds you make and the ones the grow deeper.
How you don't take the good days for granted anymore.
How you fight thru the bad days because you know they don't last forever.
The true meaning of perseverance, tenacity, and grit.
And how HOPE becomes such an integral part of your family, your life that it is one of the first words your child reads.
Because of diabetes, we have HOPE in an entirely different way than before. And that's not all bad.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." NIV Jeremiah 29:11