I've become a blogging slacker!
Summer seems to be getting away from me. I have tons of things I want to blog about - but finding the time to do so has been difficult. It's SUMMER! I am supposed to have MORE time now, right?
I suppose it's a good thing. It means that we have been busy having fun! In fact, J is calling this the "Summer of Fun" because of all the fun things we have been doing. We meaning mostly ME and SWEETS. Yes, he is feeling a little left out!
We have been busy every day! We have been swimming, had playdates, gone to the Amusement park, gone to concerts, had swim lessons once a week and tennis lessons twice a week, had cookouts, gone to movies, played mini golf, worked in our garden, had a garage sale, and even had a couple of sleepovers! Whew! No wonder Mama is tired!
This post is about one of the sleepovers.
We went to a party on 4th of July. It was cookout with some of our good friends - who also happen to be the parents of Sweetpea's good friends! (works out nice, huh?!?) As the party was winding down, the kids all started making plans to spend the night at each others houses.
This is always a little awkward. You know how it goes... no one really wants to invite the T1 to a sleepover. Really, it's not that they don't WANT to... it's just that they know it's not easy. She can't go by herself. I would have to go too. While other kids can just hop into the car and go to another house to spend the night, it's just not that easy for us.
So when Sweets asked if one of her best buddies could come to OUR house, well... I said "SURE!".
This was the first time that just ONE of her friends had come to spend the night. These girls have been friends since they started preschool - 3 years ago. They are thick as thieves! And they were SO EXCITED!
They decided to sleep in Sweetpea's room. She has a double bed and since her friend had not had time to go home and get a sleeping bag or anything, it just worked.
We have a baby monitor in Sweetpea's room so that we can hear her Dexcom alert. So after we "put them to bed" (and I say that very loosely!) we turned the monitor on so we could listen for Dex.
But what we heard was much sweeter.
The two girls lay giggling and talking about a myriad of things.
But soon the conversation turned to first grade and diabetes.
As I write this, I realize that I haven't told you about something BIG in the works for us. If you've been reading for awhile, you may know that Sweets has gone to the school where I teach for the last 3 years. She's had two years of preschool and one year of kindergarten. It's been great and I've loved having her there with me and being able to manage her diabetes personally. However - our school is an early childhood center. It's ONLY preschool and kindergarten. So Sweets has to go to a new school next year. Without Mom. And we have decided to send her to first grade at the school that is where we live instead of where I teach. This is NOT the school where her bff is going. For the first time EVER, these girls will not be in the same class. And that is BIG. It's as big to them as handing over her daily D care is to me! (I will be posting more about this soon. That requires a entire post by itself!!)
Anyway, Sweetpea's friend asked, "Who is going to take care of your diabetes next year? Are you going to be able to do it by yourself?"
Sweets answered, "Oh no - I don't have to do it by myself. They have people there who know what to do. There are LOTS of kids with diabetes that go to my new school. There's even going to be another girl with diabetes in my CLASS!"
First, the fact that her friend cares enough about her and understand diabetes enough to even ASK and THINK that question is sweet enough to bring me to tears. We have been SO BLESSED with people in our lives that care of us and for Sweets. People who WANT to learn about diabetes and who truly care for her. The fact that at six years old she has more than one friend like this is simply amazing to me. I am so grateful!
Also, Sweetpea's answer just filled my heart with little bits of happy. As I promise to write about soon, the decision to send her to a different school was NOT an easy one. We spent a lot of time and a lot of tears working through that one. And it was a decision based on diabetes and what would be best for her. Leaving her best bud - I was so worried that she would be devastated. But she wasn't. And hearing her tell her friend that she was not worried about her diabetes and that she was excited because there would be other kids with T1 at her new school (no longer the only one)... it made me smile!
It was such a sweet little exchange.
And it made me think about how this disease does not just affect us but everyone around us.
We are so open with her diabetes and her diabetes care. And over the years - even if those years were from the ages of 3 to 6 - the understanding of what type 1 diabetes IS has just become part of the fabric of the relationship between these two. Sweetpea's friend looks out for her. She would go with her to the clinic at school. She would come to my room so I could count her lunch carbs. She would help Sweets remember how much she ate and what she started with. When playing, she will tell me if Dex alerts and Sweets does not want to stop playing.
She loves her and treats her like any other kid. And at the same time, she looks out for her and worries about her.
This is exactly what I have always hoped for her! To have people in her life who will love her and care for her and look out for her. And yet also treat her not like a person with a disease. Not like someone who can't do things. Not exactly just like everyone else.... but as the unique person that she is.
By living out lives - our diabetic lives - out in the open we are slowly changing the perception of this disease. That gives me hope for the future.
Hope that not only people with diabetes will be loved and cared for but that the disease itself will be better understood and the need for a CURE will become more apparent.
It won't be just the families pushing for a cure - it will be everyone.
People will say, "My best childhood friend has diabetes. I've watched her test her blood countless times. It's time for a cure."
"My child's friend has diabetes. I've watched him count his food and give himself insulin. It's time to cure this disease."
"My best friend has diabetes and I've watched her struggle for control during her pregnancy. She needs a cure."
"My best friend has diabetes and I've had to help him when he was too low to help himself. He needs a cure."
One person at a time. One relationship at a time. One friend at a time.
Those sleepover secrets just might change the world!