I became a Mom on February 14, 2004. I held Emma in my arms and felt complete. I felt like everything I had done in my life leading up to that moment had lead me to her.
Exactly 4 years 4 months and 12 days later, I became a D-Mom. I held that insulin pen needle in my hands for the first time and I felt sadness. I felt anger. I felt fear. I felt robbed. I looked in my daughters eyes and I remembered that day she was born...when I held her and saw all of the possibilities...all of the moments she would experience. I remembered it and it felt like it was being ripped away from me...stolen from her. And for what? Why? Why us? Why her?
Exactly 4 years 10 months and 1 week after that, I sit here feeling......ok. I feel normal....or my version of normal anyway. I feel like my 9 year old daughter can still have the future I envisioned for her when I held her for the first time. She can still have it all. Diabetes hasn't stolen that from her....it's merely along for the ride now.
I think I'm at the point now where one of my biggest concerns is figuring out how to be ok with handing over the reigns to her. She needs that independence. She needs to go play with her friends. She needs to take control of her disease for certain periods of time...all on her own...be the captain of the S.S. Diabetes so to speak. She needs to have those typical life experiences like playing outside at a friends house without me there too. She needs to figure out where she will carry her blood sugar meter while she's there. She needs to figure out where she will keep low snacks. She needs to have a low blood sugar while playing...recognize it...stop playing...and test herself...treat herself...call me to tell me. She needs to have these moments on her own....so she can gain the confidence in her ability to take care of herself.......because one day.....much sooner than I would like....she will be the one taking care of herself...not me.
I'm trying to take it one experience at a time...baby steps so to speak. I'm loosening my grip on diabetes and letting her do these things a little at a time. I trust her. I know she is smart. I know she is responsible. I also know she's only 9....just a kid. I know she shouldn't have to be taught these lessons in responsibility. I know this shouldn't even be a concern in our lives....but it is....it is a part of our lives. My job as her Mom is to prepare her....teach her how to play the game....give her the tools to use...and explain the rules. My job is to make sure she has the knowledge to succeed....and still be ok with making mistakes and failing. I made mistakes. I still make mistakes almost daily. Life with diabetes is a marathon....not a sprint and we learn every step of the way.
It's not easy to loosen the grip on diabetes....but I have no doubt in my mind that it is necessary for her success...her happiness...her independence and her confidence.