THE STORY OF ONE FAMILY'S JOURNEY WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES AND CELIAC DISEASE.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I wasn't prepared for that.

Bright and early Monday morning, the sun was shining and our house was buzzing with excitement.

It was the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!

Picking out the outfits, packing the lunches, filling the backpacks with supplies....

Sugar entered the 2nd Grade and Tiara started Kindergarten!


Jay went in late to work, and we walked to school as a family.

I didn't think much of it.  I've done the first day of school before.  No biggie.

We got everyone to their drop off destinations, gave some hugs and kisses, waved good-bye, and went about our day.

And then it hit me.

The emotions of sending your little girl to her first day of Kindergarten.  Everything else about the morning felt so routine, but this emotional tug at my heart felt very uncharted.  As I walked away from the school, holding Tink's hand, I realized it would be just the 2 of us.  She's growing up, and we've started a new phase of Tiara's life journey.

When I dropped Sugar off on the first day of Kindergarten, I didn't have much time to process the emotions of what that meant.  I was too overwhelmed with blood sugars, and the school nurse, and making sure there was a Plan A, B, and C for every possible diabetes scenario.  I was anxious and checked the phone every 5 minutes to make sure the line was working.  I watched the clock and worried about how school would be affecting her blood sugars, feared she'd go low, and prayed she'd eat all her lunch.

It was different.  It was still a glorious milestone...but it was different.

I glanced back at the playground, and thought about my strong-willed daughter who would play there at recess.  Tiara has always been a presented a little "extra challenge" for me, as her mother.  She's sweet, loving, caring, and helpful...but she'll become defiant and sassy in the blink of an eye.  Her tantrums were always the worst of everyone's.  When her mind is made up about something, there's no changing it.  Period.

No doubt, these characteristics will serve her well one day.

But underneath that exterior, she's the baby I was carrying when Sugar was diagnosed. Immediately after her birth, I tucked her in a sling, and packed my house to prepare for a move across country.  In between nursing sessions, I touched up paint while wearing her strapped to my chest, after Mr. Rose left to start his new job and find a home for us in AZ.

She learned how to check her older sisters blood sugar when she was 3.  She potty trained her younger sister.  She folds her own laundry.

The Potty Training Make Over by Tiara

She's my middle child, and she's a firecracker.

Yes, I knew this day was coming.

But I wasn't prepared for the "normalcy" of kissing her good-bye.

So this is how it feels to send a child off to school without the haze of worry that comes with a chronic life-threatening disease.  This is how it feels not to worry about the powerful hormone that is attached to her constantly.  This is how it feels to pack a lunch without a note attached that lists the carb amount of each item.  This is how it feels to pack her back pack with school supplies...not school supplies plus juice boxes, snacks, test strips, a blood sugar meter, and everything else diabetes requires.  This is how it feels not to worry that a birthday party will pop up, and gluten will be everywhere.

Yes.  This is how it feels.

And, yes, my heart was sad for a minute.

But then I grew excited for the journey ahead.  Sisters passing each other in the hallway. Sisters sharing stories about their school day. Sisters at school.

Looks like I have some very special moments to savor with Tink, before they're gone next year.

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8 comments:

  1. That first day of Kindergarten is hard, isn't it? I cried like a baby the other night right before school. My baby in Kindergarten, my oldest in high school! It was all too much!

    I hope she had a great day!

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  2. I wasn't 'prepared' to read this post and have my eyes well up in tears . . . but they did, because D makes you uber emotional ;)

    First of all, Sugar's dress is a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e and she I have noticed a slimming of her face (baby chubs leaving) that makes her look so much older. ::sigh:: But so beautiful!!!! Mr. Rose better have the shotgun and the rocking chair on the ready.

    Second, I loved your description of Tiarra. She sounds sooooooo much like my Ellie, who is also a middle child. Hhhhhmmmmmm. Neither one is a wallflower!

    Love you Wendy. Thanks for the tears AND the smiles.

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  3. What an exciting new chapter for you guys wendy...i am so nervous for E going to school, I know he's going to have fun but WHOA what a huge milestone!
    Glad things went well on the first day :)

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  4. Such a sweet, heartfelt post. The first day is hard! I sympathize with you, when my youngest got on the bus the first time for school (many years ago) I thought I was fine...until that bus pulled away. I cried hysterically! It's one of those milestones, but so many fun things await. Hope your girls enjoy their school year!!! :)

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  5. Such a journey, raising kids and then sending them off. It all happens so very fast, doesn't it? Savor every moment hon.

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  6. Just found your blog, and love it already! My seven year old was diagnosed about 15 months ago, and I'm getting ready to send his little brother to kindergarten in a couple of weeks. And it's true, it's going to feel like a (relative) breeze on his first day -- no meetings with teachers, no reviews with the nurses, no food scale needed on the counter when I make his lunch. And he seems like such a similar personality as your second, too -- kind and cuddly and loving, but can turn on a dime! Anyway, so happy to have found you!

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  7. I loved reading about Tiara...thank you for sharing more about her. I never really thought about what it would be like for the oldest to have "D"...I had two weeks of "normalcy" when Bridge started K-garten...then Joe was diagnosed and my focus was on him...sadly, for a good year or so. xo

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  8. Oh Wendy, what a sweet post. It made me weepy. Thank you for sharing.

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While I'm happy to share our experiences with what works, and what doesn't work, for the management of Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease in our house, please do not mistake anything you read here for medical advice. Decisions regarding your/your child's health care should be made only with the assistance of your medical care team. Use any information from this blog at your own risk.