We have been in the midst of diabetes independence for a while now. Emma's getting older...she's quickly approaching her 6th year of living with diabetes...and I am slowly but surely letting go more and more as the days go by. It kills me sometimes...the panic that comes along with handing her her blood sugar meter bag and kissing her goodbye as she walks out the door to play at a friends house is almost paralyzing sometimes. I force myself to do it because I know it will only benefit her in the end and she needs to spread her wings...she needs to take the reigns...she needs to experience her own life with diabetes along for the ride. I had mere moments to prepare for this life...I had to jump in blindly and learn as I went along because she was only four years old when she was diagnosed. So, I have spent the last six years teaching her little by little what it all entails. I've been trying to set her up for success and confidence in her abilities because I want her to live a happy life despite diabetes. Yes, sometimes it feels like the complete wrong thing to kiss her goodbye and give her the control over keeping herself alive. I mean I'm her mom...it's my job to keep her alive, right? Well, it's also my job to teach her how to keep herself alive. It's such a mind boggling thing to have to trust that she can do it...she can handle it...she has got it. I feel torn in two some days...but I know it's always the right answer to let her go...let her live...let her grow.
Tonight she performed six dance routines at a local folk dance festival. I brought her to the auditorium floor...gave her the bag full of juice boxes, fruit snacks, and her blood sugar meter supplies. I kissed her. I pointed out to her where I would be sitting in the stands. And I walked away as she giggled with her friends and jumped around in excitement.
I sat in the crowd of parents watching her dance...staring at her eyes searching for signs of potential lows...because that's what I do. It's borderline self torture really. It's completely counterproductive and ridiculous on my part...but I can't help it...it's what I have done for years now...it's part of who I am. After finishing the third dance, the kids sat down for a break...and I saw my daughter run over to her bag....tell the teacher she felt low...sit down and checked her blood sugar...and told the teacher that no...she wasn't low...she was fine. I sat there watching her do this and my heart pounded in fear...worst case scenarios flying through my head...picturing my escape route and how I would get to her as quickly as possible if she needed me. I imagined myself climbing the plexiglass in between us...the rest of the crowd around me gasping at me wondering what the hell I was doing. I imagined these things...stupidly...tortuously...because it's what I do...I'm a d-mom and over the years diabetes has sometimes caused me to let my panicked thoughts run wild.
But she was fine. She wasn't low. It was killing me not to know what her number in fact was. But she was fine.
So I silenced the panicked voice in my head....I remained glued to my seat....I concentrated on breathing and slowing down my heart rate.....
.....and I watched my daughter take control...
And it was a beautiful sight.