Tomorrow will mark the 4th time I have sent my kid and her diabetes off to her first day of school. 4 times I have done this and while I can't honestly say that it ever gets any "easier" exactly....more so just different. I think it is really just the fact that I am so used to the panicked feeling that comes along with this process and this transition....that I have kind of just accepted it as being normal. I suppose in a way it IS normal....it's our version of normal.
That first time I sent Emma off to school was only a mere 2 months after she was diagnosed. I was in shock still...I was numb....I had only one thought in my head....if I don't send her to school now, I never will. I didn't ever want diabetes to be the reason for her not doing something. I knew that if I didn't wade through the murky waters of panic and stress and fear and just do it.......that I would never be able to do it. I would just continue to use her diabetes as an excuse....to make it ok in my head...to ease my own fears. I knew I needed to push through that sick feeling in my gut. I needed to do it for her. I needed to show her that her life is normal....even though diabetes had joined us on this journey. So, I walked her up the pathway to the kindergarten room, kissed her, hugged her tighter than I ever had, took her small little shoulders in my shaking hands and looked her right in her nervous eyes....I told her I loved her and I hoped she had a fun first day...and I would see her at lunchtime. She walked into class and sat down in the circle of kids that would soon become her friends....and I walked away. It felt like my heart would explode from my chest. It felt like I was doing the wrong thing. It felt like I was making a mistake. It felt like I was the worst parent on the planet. It felt like I was losing my mind. I walked away. I made it to my husband who was waiting in the car...I got in...shut the door...and cried. I cried out of sadness that my daughter was growing up. I cried out of the situation we were in with diabetes. But most of all, I cried out of fear....that gut wrenching panicked feeling that was choking me from the inside...that fear....a red hot firey stabbing pain in my stomach, my heat, my chest, my throat. I cried. It was all I could do.....accept our new life....and cry.
Here we are 4 years later. They say time heals all wounds. I would agree to a certain extent. Time has not healed the wounds of diabetes. It has not healed the panic I still feel on this night before her first day of 3rd grade. It has not healed the fear. Instead, time has numbed me. It has numbed me to not be AS panicked as I was last year...or the year before...or the year before that. It has numbed me to accept it. It has numbed me into realizing that if that panicked feeling was not in my gut right now.....then I wouldn't be doing the right thing. I wouldn't be a good D-Mom. I wouldn't care about her more than anything in this entire universe. Time has numbed me and made this feeling normal for me.
My heart and my thoughts are with all of you D-parents out there. Those sending your d-kiddos off to school for the first time with diabetes...those who have sent them off to school for many years now...all of you. I will be thinking of you tomorrow and want you to know that you can do it. You will worry...you will panic....you will breathe a sigh of relief when they are back in your arms again. You can do it! Diabetes has forced our kiddos to grow up before their time. It has made them see the world through eyes that are a little wiser. They can do it. You can do it. We will all be ok. We can do this!