It’s Here. Take the Time to Enjoy What You Do.

school busSchool.

I just love seeing all of the pictures posted of kids at their first day fo school.  There is a ‘newness’ to it, isn’t there?

The year begins full of hope and we, as parents, are ever watchful to notice that indeed our children are growing up.  And that is a fabulous thing.

With our youngest now out of high school (yikes!) it is such a time to reflect of those little people jumping on the bus for their first day of school.  It seems so long ago that they all started.  Now I know that many people are full of anxiety because school and diabetes is sometimes a real life water-and-oil mixture but take the time to realize what is happening with your child.

I promise you that diabetes will be all around your child before and after the first day of school so why not take the time to just stop, watch, and realize just how great your child is doing.

Enjoy this time with pictures and signs and happiness.  Our kids are growing up.  And they are growing up healthy with their diabetes.  Take the time to realize that this ‘first day of school’, no matter what year your child is in, is happening because of you.

The sleepless nights, the shots, the badge of diabetes police worn proudly; stop for a moment and take in the fact that your child is growing up ‘just fine’ because of you.  NO ONE will, or can understand that, unless they are a parent.

And when you are a parent to a child with diabetes, every now and again, a moment comes along that YOU MUST stop and take notice of your wonderful, tired, sleepless nights, frustrating, and fearful efforts.  For us, it was always the first day of school.

So much so, that the night before they started school each year the family was treated to ice cream sundaes.  My dad did that for us when we were growing up.  That tradition will continue I am sure.

Sometimes ice cream sundaes are perfect to enjoy.  Just like the first day of school.  Congratulations parents; enjoy.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

PWDs….”There Came a Time in Your Life When…….”—–Please Share with Us.

toy boxDon’t you love kids? 

I was thinking today how I remember when Kaitlyn was younger that her only goal was ‘to get back out there’ and be a kid.

It was always like, ‘hurry–hurry–they’re waiting for me”…diabetes was a side note to her life.  I always wish, as parents, we could make diabetes a ‘side note’……don’t you?

We can surely try very hard not to have diabetes consume every aspect of our lives and some of us are very, very, VERY, good at that attempt.  But if you have kids with diabetes, you KNOW EXACTLY what I mean.

Watch them as they deal with their diabetes.   It truly is remarkable.  “Do it—do it—I have things to do.”  And off they go, back to whatever ‘we took them from’ to check their blood, give a shot, or what I call, to do diabetes-whatever.

At some point, the toys were outgrown, and diabetes became more real; and mom and dad no longer taking care of diabetes had to step in.

I would be very interested to hear from those PWDs who are now adults, who grew up with diabetes.  Do you remember what it was like growing up with diabetes?  Do you have the same attitude ‘of getting back out there’ today as you did when you were younger?

Did your parents’ concern/care for your diabetes allow you to just move forward or was it front and center with you during childhood as us parents make it in our own lives?

An interesting question.  To my PWDs friends, of course you are more mature now than a child but could you try to capture if there was a time that diabetes was just there and if there arrived a time when you said, “Crap, this is mine and I better deal with it.”

Would you be so kind as to share?

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

It’s just a Wedding Gown…….Right?????………Sooooooo Nooooooo.

The WallAnnie is being revived again on Broadway.  That may be exciting to some but for me; well it is the second revival.  Three times on Broadway in my lifetime….where does the time go?

My soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Joelle, came by last night, with my daughter.  She found her wedding gown.  Now you may not know this, but when a woman finds the wedding gown that she ‘knows is hers’—-it is a big deal.  Like I knew?

Hearing them all scream with excitement was music to my ears.  Not too sure what all the excitement was about; when you’re beautiful I figure any gown will work.  Joelle is beautiful. 

She is beautiful for a whole list of reasons but the biggest one is that she completes TJ.  Together they make up the perfect pair of TJ and Joelle; and that makes me ecstatic.  Kids getting ready with a whole bunch of wedding plans.  Kids getting ready for a whole life together.

But they are not kids; are they?  
It is a fabulous stage in one’s life when you can look at your children one-by-one and realize how lucky you are.  I am more than lucky.  I do not know what the word is, but it is way beyond lucky.

As I heard everyone’s excitement last night that ‘the gown’ was found, I happened to look up at ‘the wall’.  You have one.  Everyone has one.  The wall that shows our kids growing up in pictures.  The wall that we sometimes long for once again.  Because they grow up so quickly.  They do not stay kids forever.

A lot has happened in our lives.  Life.  Perhaps a bit more challenging than others and perhaps not as challenging of others still.  Just life.

But last night there were screams of delight.  ‘THE’ wedding gown was found.  And soon another picture will be available to add to ‘the wall’, the one where we add another daughter.  And that will be a great day.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.



Finding Nemo…..Could it Be About a Child with Diabetes?

Nemo MarlinOf course the initial answer would be no.  But if you watch Finding Nemo  again, now that I have asked the question, you might find a great deal of similarities between what we go through as parents and what Marlin (Dad) goes through with Nemo (his son).

One could argue the point that every child and parent will have differences growing up and the strong conflicting desire to be allowed to venture on their own as portrayed in the movie.  This point is true but the geniuses at Pixar led by John Lasseter, the producers of the film, add something that differentiates this movie from being a parent-child movie to a parent-child-with-a-situation-to-deal-with movie. They did not just leave it at a parent-child conflict.

Nemo has a fin that is much smaller than it is supposed to be.  Nemo has a disability.

The over-protective father looks at this son’s fin/disability as an even a more reason that he needs to have a watchful eye on his struggling son, Nemo.  Every move Nemo wants to do is scrutinized by his dad.  Problem is, Nemo doesn’t think he needs as close an eye as his father is giving him.  Sound familiar?

All Nemo wants to do is be like all the other kids (fish); sound familiar?

 Nemo wants to be left alone when it comes to an over-bearing parent; sound familiar?

The move is full of incredible quotes that may sound very familiar:
Dory: Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do?
Marlin: No I don’t wanna know.
Dory: [singing] Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.

Marlin: Now, what’s the one thing we have to remember about the ocean?
Nemo: It’s not safe.
Marlin: That’s my boy.

Nigel: No, I know your son. He’s orange and has a gimpy fin on one side.
Marlin: [shouts and jumps] That’s Nemo!

Dory: No. No, you can’t… STOP. Please don’t go away……And-and I look at you, and I… and I’m home. Please… I don’t want that to go away………

The movie is just full of gems that make complete sense especially to parents like us; as we go through our world with diabetes.  But the movie makers could not give a fish diabetes; could they?  That would make no sense.   Once you accept the suspension of disbelief in this fantasy (talking fish,etc); John Lasseter (the head of Pixar) and his incredible team take huge efforts to make their films as real one could expect.  But by giving Nemo a ‘disability’ he accomplishes everything he sets out to do.

Watch the movie again and tell me I am wrong?  I find the parallels to our children living with diabetes and  Finding Nemo extraordinary.

Of course also helping me in this possible scenario/conclusion is the fact that John Lasseter’s son was diagnosed with diabetes in 2001; which would be at about the exact same moment they were working on Finding Nemo………..hmmmmmmmm……coincidence?  What do you think?

I am a diabetes dad.

PS:  Additional Interesting Fact:  My friend John Ratzenberger (Cheers, etc) is the only actor to appear in all of Pixar’s Films.  John Lasseter calls him his good luck charm.  John Ratzenberger has done a great deal of work in the diabetes community as well; he too has a child with Type 1 diabetes.

ME: B….B…B…But YOU can’t Do That, You have Diabetes.

Worried faceI remember when Kaitlyn was first diagnosed and the only thing that interest me was finding a cure and making sure her daily management was taken care of in the correct manner.

That changed.

It changed because our kids are also kids.  Their goals in life need to be our goals in life.  Never forget that point.  The recital, the good grades, the first goal scored, the starting position on the school team, the first job, the obtaining of a driver’s license, and so much more are crucially important. 

Do not minimize the success of your child because you are so focused on their diabetes.  Important?, you bet.  However so is the prom, so is becoming a class officer, so is going out with your friends.

One of those goals, when Kaitlyn was younger was to have the freedom to walk to the deli with her friends.  I had so much anxiety over her going to the deli and what she would buy that I lost focus on what she was really asking.  She wanted the freedom to just be with her friends. 

It took us a few times to realize that the ‘deli pickle’ was a great choice.  Soon her girlfriends were buying the same.  But the pickle was the easy part….but it took a while for me to see it.  It was ‘letting go’ and allowing her to ‘go to the deli’ like millions of other kids around the world.

Once we realized that point, we understood those choices more.  Still not easy to ‘let go’ but not making it “about diabetes” every time and making it about goals and growing up kept a healthier relationship.

They can cross “THAT” street…….even with diabetes; but you have to let them.  What was the first thing you let your child do?   Let us know.

I am a diabetesdad.

PS Hit “like’ on my ‘Diabetes dad’  FB page–thank you