When I was a kid and my family would go out to dinner together, I would always ask my parents if I could order a Shirley Temple to drink. I remember thinking it was fancy and I absolutely loved the little umbrella that the bartender would stick in my glass for me...along with a couple of cherries or pieces of pineapple. I remember feeling grown up drinking it...like I was cool because I didn't have a drink that came in some little kids plastic cup with Care Bears on it. I would sip it holding the heavy glass carefully in my little kid hands...not wanting to tip it over or spill a single drop. It was sweet and fizzy and I loved it.
Seeing as how Emma was only four years old when she was diagnosed, I never really had the opportunity to order her a Shirley Temple of her own when we'd go out. I always stuck to milk or water or sometimes juice. Once she was diagnosed, I remember how scared I was to go out to eat at a restaurant. I was afraid of not knowing the carb count in the food she ate, let alone any drinks. I would research ahead of time on the Internet and try to find the carb counts before we left just to make it easier on me. I focused on the food...kept it simple...basic typical foods that I knew she'd probably order like chicken nuggets or pizza. She ordered water to drink...every time...partly because she preferred water...partly because she didn't really know what she was missing out on when it came to soda or fancy drinks...and partly because I think she knew how hard it was for me to figure out the carbs in those special things.
Well, tonight....at 9 years old...Emma had her first Shirley Temple ever. 5 1/2 years into this life with D and she finally had the chance to partake in something that many kids do in their lifetime. I didn't know the carb count...I didn't bother asking the waitress if she knew what it was...mainly because I didn't want to have to go into the big explanation of "my daughter has type 1 diabetes...I need the carb count because...yada yada yada..." I just didn't want to do it this time. So, I guessed....I thought back all those years ago...to my little self...sipping the sweetness...remembering how good it was....and I guessed at the carbs. I gave her insulin for it and for her meal....and we sat there as a family enjoying our night together. I worried and second guessed myself on the carb count....but I smiled as I watched her own small hands holding that glass...sipping her Shirley Temple slowly...enjoying the taste...savouring the sweet fizziness.
I smiled because it was a sweet memory for me relived in my daughter. Sure it was just a drink...a silly little kids drink...but to me, in that moment...it was so much more. We've come a long way in this life with diabetes over the years. I'm not afraid anymore. I'm not afraid to try. I'm not afraid to go with my gut and trust that in the end everything will be ok because I know what I'm doing and I know that I can fix any mistakes or wrong guesses if need be. I know that I can do it...and I'm not afraid. I stick needles in my kids fingers, arms, belly, and legs every single day...many times a day....and if I can do that without flinching....I can do anything.
Tonight, that Shirley Temple meant the world to me. Her smile while drinking it and her comments of how good it tasted meant the world to me.
By the way, I'm a damn good guesser sometimes....because she was a decent 8.8 two hours after she drank it.