He’s growing up, getting taller, getting smarter, being brave, and self managing type 1 diabetes.
I’m getting greyer, shorter, being brave, and learning how to raise him.
I remember teaching him to ride a bike. It was easy with training wheels. “Look at you! Look at the big boy!” All the while—the training wheels keeping him upright. Then I took off one training wheel—and he learned to balance, then the next, and he learned to fly—pumping those pedals with all his might—staying upright.
Type 1 diabetes didn’t come with training wheels. Those early days—such fear. The impossible task of sticking your baby with needles and making it seem average, normal, and easy. Fake it till you make it. Hiding the tears of a parent—not wanting to inflict such pain. The first injection I had to call my boss, a doctor, and ask for help. I was too scared to do it. Injecting an orange through the training class—I was a master—doing it to my 6 year old son—I was a disaster. My awesome boss, said come right over—but he did not give the shot. He looked me straight in the face and told me “muster it up—because this first step sets the rest of the journey.” I will never forget it, and will be eternally grateful. I gave the shot.
Fast forward-year 5. My son now gets the job done, everyday, through school work, sports, and all his 12 year old obligations. Looking back, I know how we got here—necessity. He had to learn, this is his life after all, and he needs to know how to live it, but I still want to be a part—a safety net.
Is my need getting in the way?
Today I flipped my lid because he forgot to text me his BG at the scheduled time. I sent a text that said ‘BG!!!!!!!!!” and received a prompt reply ‘158.’ Then ‘SRY Forgot txt.’ I was MAD!
Forgot! What!!??!! Then came my flip out. No video games, no computer, no anything! Along with a lecture- a loud one- on remembering and the importance of keeping me in the loop.
Now I sit, regretful. Why does he have to keep me in the loop? Why-because he is 12? Maybe in real years, but in diabetes years he is 112. I know that. Did I respect that? I don’t think I did.
We will talk it out. I will tell him I am learning, and I realize so is he. Learning without training wheels.