Congratulations, milestone reached.
I always love this time of year as people post all of the great accomplishments that their child achieved. Graduating High School, Graduating College, and whatever they call, these days, cap and gowns for kindergarten and/or middle school. Step up–graduation?…..whatever…..your child is moving on in life.
Silently, I have always found myself to be prouder in my mind when I know someone with diabetes has reached one of these milestones. Any child that has an obstacle in life, and overcomes it to move forward, is worth mentioning. We see so many stories of kids who have major disabilities receiving degrees and it just warms our heart, doesn’t it?
But our kids who battle T1D, they don’t look any different from their peers, do they? When you meet them or first see them, there is no appearance of the challenges they face. But make no mistake, they are there. I remember the story of a parent who during their child’s graduation ceremony, noticed their young son wavering back and forth as he stood at the end of the ceremony.
And just in the nick of time the parents were waiting for him when he left the ceremony to give what was needed to tend to the glycemic reaction.
The photos don’t show that.
The photos show arms around family members and friends celebrating graduation from high school. The photos show smiles and good times. No one would look and say look what the young man achieved, even with the illness dealt with 24/7/365. No one would say, what a heart warming story that despite; sleepless nights due to diabetes, adjustments made to play sports due to diabetes, rearranged schedules all through middle school and high school so lunch was at reasonably time adjusting to diabetes, countless trips to the school and school nurse due to diabetes, fighting to make sure they are not left behind in school trips and countess activities due to their diabetes no one would, really, even know.
But you know, don’t you mom and dad?
So when YOUR child who battles T1D; graduates, ‘steps up’, receives an award, attends sports night, gains entry to an honor society, is named to the homecoming court, named to the prom court, wins a race, aces a test, achieves success in the robotics club or whatever club they participate, are pinned, white coated, named valedictorian an/or just live life to the fullest—-well you just enjoy that huge smile on your face a little bit more than so many others who DO NOT understand the lives we lead.
And should it be forgotten for the moment, or not even known by outsiders, that your child has T1D at these ceremonies………we, as parents WILL ALWAYS KNOW, won’t we? Because the fact that we will NEVER forget drives us with everything we have to make sure our kids never forget what they really are……..kids like everyone else.
So let me say to all of you parents, congratulations on another wonderful year of your child’s achievements. Because unlike many others, your child achieved everything they did this year despite, and in spite, of their type 1 diabetes.
I know that smile, and those tears of joy, you will have on your face….and you enjoy EVERY second of it! Congratulations.
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