My youngest is in college now.
Whew. Sorry. I forgot. I was thinking they were all still in elementary/middle/high school. It’s just at about this time every year I have that anxiety attack and as my youngest continues in his college years; it does mean that the anxiety of the countdown-days-until-school-starts does not still hit……not after I had them for 17 years.
So today I’m writing to tell you…….we got through it. Yes we surely did. And I can tell you this; we started out with one of the worst case scenarios one could ever imagine, on Kaitlyn’s very first day of school so many years ago. In a nut shell….after taking every precautionary step we could, and timing everything perfectly……Kaitlyn’s bus came to the stop 90 minutes passed the due time and no one knew where the bus was….a different story for over a glass of wine…..but your heart should have sunk a little bit because YOU KNOW EXACTLY what that would be like…….panic exponential.
But we got through that, and one day, became one week, one month, one year, one child graduated, second child graduated, third child graduated. And when two of them had T1D….well just know that we know what you know and felt what you are feeling.
There are many how-to-s out there…..one recently written and posted about returning to school is very, very good at the Pep Squad FB page, by a dMom.
With the track record of going-back-to-school-worries pretty much behind me, know this: you can do this, you will get through this…..you really will. You can read all the things that you must do regarding your child’s diabetes and I just want to add……do everything within your power to make sure your child enjoys school. Trips, after school activities, fun……..do all within your power to make sure that after you take care of the ‘in-school-day’, make sure your child has the opportunity to enjoy EVERYTHING surrounding school. Make sure they are given that chance.
Know that the door may be slammed many times. If your child is not invited to a sleep over, have one yourself. Talk with the coach or moderator for after school activities so everyone is in sync. Notice I wrote talk ‘with’; not at—-make them your partner. Encourage your child to live by the simple rule, ‘Want a friend…….than be a friend.’ LISTEN CAREFULLY: THERE WILL BE BUMPS AND HICCUPS—-TAKE THEM AS THEY COME AND CROSS THEM OFF ONE AT A TIME. WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE…..WE HAVE ALL COME THROUGH. SO WILL YOU!!!!!! My kids thrived in high school and it set the pathway for far beyond. Our house was always full of kids. If you are working….make it on the weekends. Our house had a ‘hear the door slam attitude means the house is full’. Try it. It’s not just what happens IN school but all around what happens outside school as well. After school….weekends…..all of it.
I have told this story a million times. There came a time when Kaitlyn and her friends were ‘old enough’ to walk to the deli in our neighborhood. ‘ON HER OWN’—–arrrrghhhhhh. But we let her. We set the boundaries, we found the balance and we let her go. When they would buy a cake or something for themselves, Kaitlyn would say to the man behind the counter; “I will have a pickle”. It was pretty much a free food. You see it did not matter WHAT they bought, it just mattered that they could go together. Funny thing was that by the end of that time in their lives, they were all buying pickles.
Do not fear this time of the year. Be excited for your kids. The beginning of the school year should be exciting, wonderful, and showing all the GREAT possibilities. Your angst and/or anxiety….well….we all got it. We will all get it. But it is what you do with it that will pave the road ahead. School is about to begin……have the fear, but have the smarts too. You got this……..and so will your child.
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.