Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The popsicle moments in life

Sometimes in this life with diabetes it's hard to remember the little things. The things that make all the difference. The things that make you realize that it is not all about the needles and the blood and the pain and the highs and lows. It's about the moments in between. We get so caught up in the day to day management of blood sugars that we tend to lose sight of what really matters...the seemingly small victories. Well, yesterday we had one of those victories and it seems like it renewed my spirit. It was an EXTREMELY hot day yesterday here in Ontario...we're talking 40 celisius (104F) with the humidity factored in....hot....really hot. I sent Emma off to school with all of the protection possible...a hat to keep her brain from frying when out at recess, sunscreen covering every exposed inch of skin, and instructions to drink water...lots of water...all day. There are maybe 3 tiny little trees on the playground at her school to provide a tiny amount of shade for the kids. It was really amazing to me to see them at lunch recess when I brought Emma back to school. Usually when I walk up the path I am greeted by the sounds of screaming banshees and the sight of a mob of kids running around like maniacs enjoying their free time in the fresh air. Well, yesterday I walked up the path and there was a crowd of kids gathered under the bit of shade...huddled together...sitting criss-cross applesauce in the grass...moving as little as possible. The other kids were sort of lying around in the field looking like a bunch of limp lettuce. It was quiet...there was no screaming...no running around. They were all trying to endure the heat as best they could, I suppose.
Anyway, later on that afternoon I got a phone call from the school and I was sort of puzzled. Usually I will get a little jumpstart to my heart when the phone rings and I see her school on the caller ID...except this time it wasn't snack time...it wasn't the "usual" time I would ever get a phone call with a problem in her blood sugars. It turned out to be one of the two teachers assistants (EA's) in Emma's class. Ever since Emma started school in junior kindergarten these two women have been there in the class helping out with another boy with special needs. They have always just taken it upon themselves to help Emma too when she needs it. They go above and beyond the call of duty and out of the kindness of their own hearts, they help her. I have always been greatful for the extra sets of eyes to look out for her. In any case, the EA called me and said, "One of the teachers brought in popsicles for the kids and they are 15g of carbs, and we were wondering if Emma can have one too?" I was floored. It brought tears to my eyes instantly and it was honestly the best news I had heard all day. I told her tha yes of course Emma could have one...just tell her to bolus for the 15carbs and not bother to check her BG again. I hung up the phone and it hit me....this woman cared enough to make sure Emma was included...to make sure that she didn't feel different. She cared enough to not only call me, but to also check the carb count ahead of time. I love the EA's for that. After school, as Emma and I were walking back to the car, we passed by this same EA that called me and I almost burst into tears. I told her thank you once again and she said, "aww it was nothing! I just wanted to make sure Emma got to have one too!" I love that she perceived the situation as nothing more than that. She didn't feel like she had gone above and beyond. She didn't feel like she had done anything out of the ordinary. She didn't feel like she had done something special. However, to me...and to Emma...that popsicle might as well have been a million dollars prize. To Emma, she wasn't different...diabetes didn't force her to stand out and be stared at or pitied. It didn't slap her in the face with reality and make her take notice to the fact that she isn't like everyone else in her class. The way that EA handled things for her....it made Emma feel normal. To me, that is more precious than anything in the world. I tried my best to express to this woman how her seemingly small act of kindness and compassion for my daughter meant all of this to me.....but I don't think I could ever find the proper words.
So, in the midst of the insanity...in the midst of the stress, the worry, the feelings of despair......try to remember the little things...the moments in between. Try to seek out and recognize your "popsicle moments".....because they are powerful. The "popsicle moments" will renew your spirit and make you feel like there really are good and decent...kind and caring individuals in the world that are on your team. They are on your side and will be there to help you make your type 1 kids life better. I love the EA's for that and I love our "popsicle moments."


  1. Love the popsicle moments!
    Totally understand the emotions when they call to make sure our kids can partake in the goodies!
    It always made me smile when I would get a call over the radio when I was subbing to ask the carb count for the birthday cupcake or whatever treat had been brought into Bean's class. Last year, most of the time, she wasn't always included, so it made it even more wonderful.

    Ugh, 104 degrees? I can totally understand why the kids were limp!

  2. Woah baby...that is HOT! AND WOOT!!! to the EA. She rocks.