I touched yesterday on the difficulties of having an older sibling who doesn't have diabetes and the trials that are associated with helping your non D child gain understanding. Reading through my blog today, I came across this post, speaking on a situation we experienced 2 weeks ago. It reminded me how beneficial my daughter is in my life, especially through this time.
"My brother is sick!" This was the phrase that came out of my daughters mouth when recently at the children's museum. She felt the need to yell this out to a room full of people, that immediately took a giant step back away from all of us. "Wow, well, that's one way to clear a room Ashleigh", I muttered under my breath as I scrambled to figure out a quick way to share what she really meant. I threw on a huge smile and calmly said, "My son has Type 1 Diabetes, he's not sick with anything contagious." This was the first time I'd spoken openly about Carter's diabetes, and for it to be with complete strangers was a bit......well, strange. I had never announced that Carter was a diabetic. It was a paralyzing, yet freeing moment all at the same time. Amidst my explanation to all in the room, Ashleigh tugged at my pants and was ready to move on, in her naiveté, she had no idea what a phrase like that can open up. I had all the mothers in the room walking toward me with the pity looks that I had worked so hard to avoid. But more than that, I was forced to face the elephant in the room if you will, I was forced to say that my son was a diabetic. I remember when my son was moved to the ped's floor in the hospital from the PICU, when he was able to finally eat, the nurse called down to the kitchen to order Carter's lunch and she said the dreaded phrase "Yes, he's a diabetic." I sobbed, uncontrollably. Hearing the diagnosis spoken made it such a reality, one I wasn't prepared to deal with. In a way, having to let the whole room of strangers know what my family encounters everyday, I felt like a weight had been lifted. My daughter has no idea what she did for me that day. Ashleigh never ceases to amaze me, and this day, she force-fed me courage. I am continually humbled by the depth of my children. My daughter in a split second taught me how to release myself from the bondage that I had put myself under, and for that I will be eternally grateful.