Sacrifices Moms Must Make

This weekend has been a fabulous weekend for MJ. She was reunited with her “sister” and “brother.” (My ex-boyfriend’s kids.)  With Instagram and texting, they are still in touch, but they haven’t seen each other in person since November.

Some people may think I’m crazy for allowing them to get together.

Well, I guess I am crazy.

I am crazy about these kids.

I loved them like my own and I loved the relationship that all four of them shared.  That they still share.

I spent almost 2 hours in the car this weekend driving MJ up and back.  I had to swallow my pride, take a deep breath, put on a brave face, calm my nerves and do what would make them happiest….

Give them some time together.

Just because we can’t all be together like we were before, it isn’t fair to halt their friendship.

Reading their Instagram posts, receiving texts and pics, and negotiating the pick-up time, I knew I made the right choice.

It’s not an easy spot to be in. And the tears I have fought this weekend come from many places.

But as a mom, you have to be brave and strong, and be willing to make sacrifices for your children. Sometimes what is painful for you, is wonderful for them.  It’s not the part of motherhood I thought about 15 years ago and it’s not a part I enjoy.

But it’s love.

I think of someday not that long from now when MJ goes away to college.  Don’t I want her to go? Of course I do, but at the same time…NO, I don’t want her to leave!!!

Obviously, I can’t keep her at home forever.  But I will do what I’ve seen a few of my friends already do, be brave and strong and pack her up and drop her off.  And I’ll live to tell about it, even if I shed a lot of tears.

Just as I would give up my own healthy pancreas and take on the burden of Ian’s diabetes, this weekend I let my heart hurt for just a little while, so that their hearts could be happy.

Two girls, two hearts, 1 wish for them: A lifelong friendship that stays strong, no matter the distance and time.

dandelion

 

 

 

 

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The Same Story. A New Chapter.

A few days ago I went through some old posts, desperate for some reminder that things will get better.

I found several posts that had me in the same, or similar, place with the same, or similar, feelings…. (All of these posts were written before I went public with this blog.)

On the days that Ian is with his dad and stepmom, I scramble to get things done around here and I try to get some extra sleep, but breaks don’t seem like breaks.

We’ve had some really awesome days.  In fact, he’s had three days in which his numbers were darn near perfect.  And then…BOOM…Hello 300s!! We meet again…..  I had to remind myself diabetes can’t change the past.

As I peel off the old pod (and fight the squeamish feelings I feel) and try to distract him from the pod change, it breaks my heart.  It’s stupid and unfair that he has to have this disease, and he has to endure these things. All I can think is “I’m so sorry this happened to you.

As Ian struggled through a baseball practice, his dad and I were texting about the unfairness of this all and how we’d trade places with him in a heartbeat.  Being a parent of a child with a chronic illness it not what we signed up for, but we will do whatever we have to do.

And doing what we have to do…well, it’s exhausting. I’ve already explained this; I’m so tired. 

I know that having this pump is the beginning of a new chapter for Ian. He will be able to be so much more independent and he will need this as he gets older.  He has already mastered the PDM. He can enter his carbs and give himself a bolus, and it’s all so good for his confidence and self-esteem. He is managing all of his care at school – making a phone call to his stepmom at lunch time everyday.

Yesterday morning I was reading a book when he woke up and I said, “Let me finish this chapter, and then I’ll get your breakfast.”  He said, “No, you keep reading. I can do it by myself now.”  My sweet boy, you continue to amaze me.

This move from shots to a pump has not been the easiest transition.  I foolishly didn’t see this coming. It is just a new chapter, and I have to face it.

And even though sometimes the reality of forever blows my mind, I know we will be ok.

Trust and Friendship

Last night MJ had her first full-blown sleep-over.  I haven’t ever said NO to a sleep-over. She just hasn’t asked.

It is sort of like when she was a toddler, and we used to take nightly walks through the park. We never got her out of her stroller to swing or play on the playground, because we knew once we started, a walk through the park would never be so simple.   (That all ended around the age of 2.)

So, when I suggested a sleep-over for her upcoming 14th birthday, her eyes lit up and she invited 4 friends.  Three were going to spend the night; the fourth girl was only going to stay until 10:30 or so. She had never spent the night at someone’s house. She has T1D.

She is my Ian.

Ian has never been a sleep-over candidate – even prior to his diagnosis.  He doesn’t do well with things like that. He even has a hard time sleeping at his grandparents’.

And now, with T1D, he’s asked a few times, but we’ve always found alternatives to sleeping over. He has whined a few times, “I’ll never be able to prove I can stay all night if you don’t give me a chance!”

True.

But I also know Ian. The anxiety of the change in routine would be enough to literally make him sick and he’d  be home anyway.

Anyway, MJ’s friend was the last to arrive, but the girls welcomed her and were clearly glad she decided to come – at least for a little while.

A few hours in, MJ comes down and said, “Annie wants to spend the night!”

She was followed by a trail of girls…one I hardly recognized. They had given Annie a makeover; they straightened her corkscrew curls and put a flower in her hair.

Annie’s mom brought over her sleeping bag, pillow, and overnight bag. And her Lantus.

I could tell her mom was apprehensive and Annie was maybe a little nervous.  But of all the places in the world, this was a good place to start the overnight adventure.

I smiled as I thought of one of my favorite lines from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, when the creepy garage attendant takes the Ferrari from Ferris and Cameron: “You guys got nothing to worry about, I’m a professional.”

I picture Annie’s mom saying, “A professional what?

True, Annie’s been a T1D for a year or so longer than Ian. But I get it and I could tell her mom did too.

I kindly said, “Are you ok with this? She’s gonna be ok. I can get up at 2:00 and check her. MJ knows what to do. And I have juice boxes!”

She smiled, hugged Annie goodbye, and walked away.

I don’t think I could have done that so easily.

But, what a milestone.

My heart melted when MJ carefully measured out Annie’s brownie and ice cream, just like she’d do with Ian’s.

And then again, when the girls told me that they are all going to do the Diabetes Walk next fall. They want to form a team for Annie and Ian.

I believe they will make this happen.

The only glitch in this experience…planning a sleep-over on the night we change the clocks and lose an hour of much-needed sleep. The girls watched the time miraculously change from 1:59 to 3:00 on their phones.

I have to trust that it was awesome, because I got more sleep than anyone! I was sound asleep by 11:00!

The Chicken or the Egg?

Oh, heavens!

This day.  This unbelievably exhausting day.

The kind of day that, after a while, all you can do is laugh.

I arrive at work at 7:15.

Ian is with me today because he has band.

He eats in my classroom before school starts.  His breakfast blood sugar is 374?!?!

Awesome.

Throw in moderate ketones, the inability to finish breakfast because he feels too sick to eat, an insulin  > carb intake, a hunt for juice in the cafeteria to try to compensate for some of the missing carbs….

And it’s now 7:55.

Class starts at 8:03. I haven’t even turned on my computer.

Awesome.

Oh yeah, and then the office does an all-call at 8:00 because they can’t find me…

An observer from an elementary school – which I completely forgot about – is here waiting in the office for me.

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

It was clearly going to be one of those days.

Better just roll with it.

I pull it together. She’s a first year teacher, I tell myself. I can fake her out. I can look good even though I am completely and totally flustered and frazzled.

I pull it off. We read an emotional chapter from our novel. It calms me down.

The next two periods are fine. I shuffle Ian out to the bus which will take him to his elementary school.

The observer leaves.

Then I see the email she sent last night to remind me she was coming.

I make a mental note to check why my work email is not coming to my phone.

I teach a couple more periods, get my sub plans ready for tomorrow during my prep, run home for lunch.

I arrive back from lunch, ready to tackle the last three periods.

Apparently I’ve missed some unmentionable craziness in the land of 7th grade during lunch.

What I wouldn’t give to have been there to see what happened…I’m still laughing out loud when I picture what has been described to me.

But it really isn’t funny; it’s an issue that must be dealt with.

Sometimes you just have to laugh.

I take a few phone calls from Ian…who is coming down off his high….and feels like crap.

Then a blood sugar crash of 65 an hour after lunch.

Awesome has left the building.

And then we get to the inspiration for this post. The story behind the title that seems completely random and nonsensical.

Because that’s just the kind of day it is.

You see, after the above-mentioned, unmentionable lunch period antics…my study hall is quietly working and I’m helping one student with his math when another student has a “REALLY IMPORTANT QUESTION.”

I think he’s going to burst if he doesn’t get an answer.

You know the question that is coming….

“Ms. K, what came first – the chicken or the egg?”

I don’t have the energy for this, yet it seems like the simplest thing that’s happened all day, and I am more than happy to have the debate.

Recent Accomplishments

Yesterday I got to thinking about how great my kids are. (Yeah, yeah, aren’t they all?)  But seriously, MJ and Ian have had some pretty great accomplishments in the past few weeks.  Here they are in random order:

1. MJ was selected to be on the Power of the Pen writing team at school. It’s a creative writing competition with several rounds in the next few months.  The first competition is Feb. 15th.  Wonder where she gets her writing talent? 😉

2. One of MJ’s  drawings from Drawing I is now hanging in the main lobby of our building.  I took this pic of it yesterday morning when the lights were out, but I like the reflection of the front doors.


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3. MJ placed 6th in the district spelling bee this past Tuesday. It is  plausable plausible she will never misspell a certain word again the rest of her life.  (My forever-word is opera!)

4. Ian’s Upward basketball team finally won a game. They played another 0-2 team yesterday and won 24-10!

5. Stats on Ian’s basketball career (since he informed me he plans to be in the NBA after playing for OSU.):

Week 1: 2 points (the ONLY basket) – The final score was 32-2.
Week 2: 8 points – His best game “EVER” despite a loss of 36-12.
Week 3: 6 points, 7 assists, 4 steals, and 2 rebounds (This is his unofficial report to me because, unfortunately, I was monitoring Saturday School and had to miss it.)

6. It would be unfair to not give a shout-out to my Bluebird. Like a new mother, I celebrated the first (and only) night he slept all night this past Wednesday.  His internal clock is amazing. He wakes me up at 2:10 every night to go out and then at 5:26 a.m. to eat.  I took his water away at dinner time the last few nights but it only worked that one night.  Suggestions are welcome!

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The look I get when I interrupt Blue’s nap…

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And when I let him sleep….

Here’s hoping for more great things the rest of the month!

Independence

Last night I dropped Ian off at his friend’s house for a party.   Things like this are not easy for a D-mom.

It’s scary to send him somewhere I will not be.

Luckily, this boy’s dad is diabetic (Type 2) and a teacher and their older son has friends with Type 1.

They also live about a block away.

And Ian’s friends all look out for him.

I had to stick around a little while before they got to dig in to the pizza so I could give Ian his shot. The host of the party, a charming little dude, says, “Guys we gotta let Ian do his thing and then we can go eat in the basement.”

After a brief review of emergency procedures, I left feeling pretty good. (He has been over there several times so this was just a review.) Ian seemed comfortable. His parents were comfortable and I knew I wouldn’t be far away.

The parents took the boys to play basketball at a church after dinner and his mom texted me to let me know all was well.

The original plan was to go back at 9:15 and bring him home for the night.  Some of the boys were staying over, but we are still working on that. 😉

When MJ and I stopped over at 9:15 (after some dinner and shoe shopping) and the boys were playing tag and having a blast.

And Ian reeeeeealllly wanted to stay and watch a movie with them, after they had a fire.

Since it was only a block away, and since he was having  a stellar blood sugar day, and since he was so nice when he asked…I told him he could stay til 11 when the mom was “pretty sure the boys would be zonked out.” (Haha!!)

So I gave Ian his Lantus, chatted for a few minutes and then asked him what he thought he would eat for his bedtime snack.

He cut me off…”Mom, I got this. I will eat like 15 carbs here and then have some milk when I get home at 11:00. I know what to do.  I’m good. I promise.”

And when I picked him up at 11:00, he was ready to go. He was sweaty and stinky and tired and happy.

All a boy could want.

Taking a Break from “Shoulds”

Today I gave myself a break…

A day to rest my ears, close my eyes, still my mind, and fix my heart.

I haven’t graciously accepted a day like this in forever.

I struggle with down time and with bring alone, yet I have a lot of it.

Usually I punish myself with “shoulds” (You know, all those things you tell yourself you should be doing) and rack myself with guilt for not being the most productive or most social person I should be (There I go with the “shoulds” again!)

But I have realized the usual isn’t working.

So when the kids left for their dad’s at 11:00, I declared this day my own.

And I quietly celebrated a break…

A break from counting carbs and giving shots

From logging numbers and breaking up fights between squabbling siblings

From the orthodontist and the bills

Today I got a break from cooking and cleaning and laundry and raindrops (Hello glorious sunshine!) and I don’t have to get up for a 2 a.m. blood sugar check.

Literally, not a spoken word since 11 a.m, unless you count talking to the cat…and the choice words I muttered when I sliced my pinky finger while getting out a lawn chair.

These “breaks” aren’t always welcome and I often waste away my time wishing for plans and conversation and counting down the minutes until they return, only to find myself frantically doing all the chores in the two hours before I pick them up.

Today I watched the garden grow and read for hours.

I ate leftovers with my feet propped up and I got some sun.

I took a long walk and I guiltlessly discovered my next project on Pinterest.

I listened to birds and the breeze and dogs and car doors and never once secretly wished it was someone coming to visit me on such an alone, but not lonely, day.