There are many significant moments in a child's life that we as parents will always remember. Moments that stick out and are forever etched in our minds. The first steps...first words...first birthday...first day of school...when they learn how to ride a bike...first crush. It is as old as time and the circle will continue onward from our parents to us to our kids to our grandkids and so on. We celebrate these milestones. We reflect on past moments and past achievements as each new one arrives.
When Emma was diagnosed, I never really would have thought of any milestones occuring that would have made me stop and think...be proud...and sad...and reflective all at the same time. I never would have thought that I would have included these diabetic milestones in my album of memories that I hold near to my heart....but I do. The first time Emma gave herself an injection when she was still on pen needles. The first time she checked her own blood sugar. The first day of school that she handled snack times on her own. The first fundraiser idea that she had. The first severe low...and the first crazy high. The first time she was hospitalized because of a nasty stomach virus. The first time she recognized a low on her own and told me about it. The time that she decided she was ready to go on an insulin pump. The first infusion site she had put in....fighting through her tears and crippling fear...letting her brave spirit take over. Day 1 of pumping..seeing her walk around proudly wearing this new device that would make her life so much easier. The first time she bolused herself before eating. The first time she showed interest in learning how to do a site change...and learning how to make basal changes and insulin to carb ratio changes all on her own.
It's been nearly 4 years now for us and I can honestly say that we have been through a lot...some bad...but definitely a whole lot that is good. Well, today I was able to add one more moment...one more milestone to my list for her. I was sitting on the couch helping her work on one of those little loom things that they sell for kids that you can make a pot holder out of. LOVE those things by the way! I have to giggle because I very vividly remember having my own and making a pot holder for my own 2nd grade teacher...being very proud of it and loving the smile on my teachers face when I gave it to her. Anyway, I was busy trying to finish it off for her and she stood up and walked into the kitchen without a word. I thought that she was just going to throw something away or grab a water or something....until I heard the familiar beep of the blood sugar meter. I asked her if she was low. She said that yes she felt low and was just going to check to make sure. My heart sank...........for a number of reasons. First one being the fact that she was in fact low. Second one being that she had taken it upon herself to go and check...instead of the usual thing of telling me she felt low and me being the one to go get the meter and check. It made me feel extremely proud of her...proud that she is recognizing lows more often, proud that she is confident enough to just go check for herself, proud that she is growing up and taking charge of her diabetes and managing it to the best of her 8 year old ability, proud....I was simply proud of her. For as much pride as I felt though...I also felt a deep painful sadness. I was sad that I was witnessing first hand once again how diabetes has forced her to mature way faster than your average 8 year old. I was sad that this is even considered an accomplishment in my eyes. Sad that this would be something to make me proud. Sad that I now had another milestone to record under the diabetes section of my mind.
So, we accept it and keep moving....realize that she is growing up...there's still not a cure...this is part of her life...and she is taking control of it and showing independance as each year passes us by. That is an impressive thing and I think I will try to shove the sadness down about it and just focus on the pride for now.