Yesterday after school, Emma informed me that one of her friends is going to be having a birthday party soon seeing as how her actual birthday is on Halloween (lucky girl! i think that would be such a fun day to have for a birthday!) Anyway, apparently the little girl told Emma that she was definitely invited and that it was a sleepover party. In the very next breath, Emma informed me that she told her friend that she couldn't go because of "the whole diabetes thing."
I could feel my heart leap up into my throat as I heard those words come out of my daughter's mouth. I knew this day was coming. I knew sleepovers with little girls are a big thing. Hell I was a little girl once...I know how fun they are and how they are such an important part of the whole growing up and bonding with girlfriends experience. It's a big deal. I knew that the older she was getting the closer I was getting to this day. Needless to say, all of that menatl awareness and attempted stress emotional preparing I was doing really did me no good.
Rather than sit there and let diabetes win, I remained calm, cool, and collected and simply asked Emma why she felt like she couldn't go to this sleepover party "because of her diabetes?" She told me that it was because she was afraid she wouldn't know all of the carb counts for foods that she may or may not eat while there....and she didn't fully trust the birthday girl's Mom to pay close attention to lows. I stood there looking at her sweet innocent face speaking these mature and heartbreaking words. I looked at her eyes and knew I was at a crossroads here...it could go one of two ways. I could kneel down and hug her and tell her that I understood and if that is what she wanted, then I was ok with that...while secretly letting the relief wash over my pounding heart and being thankful that my child said the words she said. OR I could kneel down and hug her and tell her that we should never let diabetes stop her from doing ANYTHING that she wants to do. We should never let it run or rule any decision we make ever. It doesn't run our lives...it shouldn't have a say in what she chooses to do. We shouldn't let it win. We shouldn't let it stop her from having fun and just being a kid.
I'm sure you all know which route I chose to go.
I slammed my foot down on the gas pedal and took a right turn....I drove us onto the path of the unknown and unfamiliar and scary once again. I pulled up my big girl panties and put my seatbelt on...I made the decision once again to not let this disease stop my girl from doing what she wants. I told Emma that I would find a way to make it work...I always find a way. I told her that her main focus as a 7 year old little girl should be to have fun...go to school...learn...be kind to others...be a kid...and squeeze as much fun as she possibly can out of every single day. That's her job...that's it. I told her that all the rest of it is MY job...the stress, the worry, the finding out carb counts, the ratios and rates, the middle of the night checks, the food, the management, the careful planning and decisions that occur on a daily basis....the worry...the stress...the stress...the stress......it's MY job as her Mommy...not her job. I hugged her and was pleased to see the weight lifted off of her shoulders and the sparkle return to her eyes.
and then she informed me that the REAL reason why she said she couldn't sleepover there was because she was scared to sleep in a house without her Mommy and Daddy there....she just used her diabetes as an excuse.....lol. I burst out laughing and hugged her again. What a kid...ingenious...to think of using her diabetes to get out of doing something already at the age of 7? classic....lol