Friday, April 22, 2011

My little cub

After bringing Emma upstairs to bed last night, I plopped down on the couch ready to zone out on some tv for a while...let my mind wander...calm the waves of worry over diabetes and blood sugar numbers that have a tendency to crash upon the shores of my brain. I found a movie on one of the kid's channels actually that instantly caught my attention. It was a nature movie and they were showing footage of animals in the Northern part of the world. They were following a polar bear Momma and her two babies (a boy and a girl). I'm an animal lover, so I sat there watching...I found it fascinating how this Momma polar bear was out there in the bitterly cold weather, walking ever so cautiously across the thinning ice, and managing to take care of her babies. She was teaching them all the them to hunt for food below the ice, showing them where to go to be safe and keep away from other dangerous animals. She showed them all of the techniques as they walked along. I know it may sound crazy to some, but I could sort of relate to this Momma polar bear. I saw her teaching her babies how to survive and I realized that I am actually doing the same thing for Emma. I am teaching her every day about her diabetes, whether I consciously know that I am doing it or not, I am still training her. I have taught her how to check her own blood sugar, I have taught her how to inject herself with her insulin pen, I have continuously day after day...low after low...and high after high...tried to teach her to listen to her body, to shut out the noise around her and listen to how her body is behaving at that moment in time, and to try and recognize what is actually going on in there. It is a relentless lesson.
I saw this Momma polar bear overcome with hunger and worry for her family. I saw her persevere through unimaginable conditions to find food for her babies. I saw her snuggle up to them to stay warm and keep watch over them through the night. I realized that I too have persevered through horrible situations...just kept moving forward...focusing on the light at the end of the stressful scary tunnel of diabetes. I snuggle up to Emma not to keep her warm really, but to comfort her none the less. I keep watch over her night after endless night simply because I love her...she is my heart...and I want to keep her safe.
I saw this Momma polar bear lay in a pile of snow in the middle of a horrible blizzard filled night, next to her boy cub as he succumbed to the conditions and his extreme hunger. I saw her try to lick the snow off of his fur all night and then finally leave his now still body in the morning so she could continue the hunt for food for her girl cub. I watched her take one last glance back at him before continuing on. 
My heart broke for her. I know it is all a part of nature...the circle of life...the way things are. I just couldn't get that image out of my head of her looking back at him. Near the end of the movie, they showed how eventually the Momma polar bear has to force the girl cub to go off on her own. The Momma had taught her all that she needed to know so she could survive and now it was time for the cub to be on her own and not rely on her Mom anymore. I'm not yet able to relate to that part of it yet. I suppose one day I will have to though. The thought of seeing Emma go off on her own to live her own life one day just scares the crap out of me. I know I want her to be independant. I want her to be able to manage her own diabetes. I want her to have the knowledge and the skills she needs to do the best job she can with it. I want her to achieve her goals and dreams. I want her to be happy. I know when that day comes that she walks out my front door to live her own adult life, I will be a wreck...but I will be proud. I know that I will never rest easy again for the rest of my life...if I live to be 90, I am sure I will still worry about her diabetes, her blood sugar, complications. I hope a cure comes before that day...but even if it doesn't I know that she will be fine. I know this because she is still my little cub and I will continue every single day to teach her. She will be just fine.


  1. I am with you! I was thinking about this just the other night...the letting go part that every parent has to do, but how much more difficult it will be with D in the mix. It makes tears stream down my face.
    I know Bean will be fine, too, but the mama bear will always have that concern and desire to protect!

  2. I am slowly watching Joe gain more and more independence. I cannot imagine when I will have to let go more...but know it is coming...and I sooo can relate to this story. Loving a child enough to let them go when they are entering adulthood is going to be bitter-sweet for sure.

  3. "She is my heart." That is how I feel about my kids, too.

    Jack recently did a book report on penguins, and of course, in order to help him, I needed to read the book, too. As I learned about them and how they care for their young, like you, I was struck by similarities to the way we care ours.