If you asked me how I feel about taking care of a child with Type 1 diabetes, my answer would be ..."lucky".
Now, does that mean I feel lucky when I have to poke his finger 6-10 times in a day? No. Does it mean I feel lucky when I have to inform him yet again that he isn't allowed to eat his treat yet because his blood sugar is too high for now? No. Do I feel lucky for those mornings when I pray that he will wake up today after I possibly gave him too much insulin over the night? Absolutely not.
I do feel lucky to be given the opportunity to teach someone at an early age that life is not what is given to you, but what you do with it that matters. I feel lucky to show my son how to overcome such a duanting obstacle. I am lucky that I have the opportunity to show him how to handle his health well throughout his adult life while he is still so little and impressionable.
I have noticed my son and many children with diabetes have this kind of "bounce back" gift. None of them seem to mind their condition. None of them seem to notice their blood sugar checks or their administration of insulin. The diabetic children I have met all seem to perceive their diabetes as some sort of an afterthought from their more pressing daily thoughts of Wii levels, birthday parties and texting conversations.
Children with diabetes are resilient. They do not let their diabetes identify them, label them, or even really effect them. They run to the sidelines like professional athletes letting their mothers or fathers check their blood sugar all the while keeping their eye on the ball in the game. They stop bouncing with their friends at the local bounce house to drink their juice to keep their sugar leveled. They are like super heroes to me. True wonders.
Finally, I feel lucky caring for a child with diabetes because he is teaching me how to behave. I am learning how to be truly compassionate for others. I am learning that every human has a story- something that they must overcome everyday. I am learning that having a life threatening medical condition enter our family is not the end of the world and is quite "doable". I am learning how to take my otherwise meek personality and really advocate for something/someone, no matter what the cost. Finally, I am learning how to teach someone how to make lemonade out of sour lemons (with Splenda, of course!).
So, it is for all of these lessons and reasons that I feel lucky to take care of my thriving, beautiful, and perfect son, Rocco. I only hope I can teach him as much as he has taught me.