Two years ago, before the boys started kindergarten, I attended a "Back to School" conference put on by my local JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). I was super anxious about sending my four-year-olds to kindergarten, much less one that had diabetes. They would be turning five within the month,but they seemed so young. Thank God it was only for a half a day! To hand off Rocco to someone who knew nothing about diabetes gave me heart palpitations (literally). I used the conference as a training class. It taught me what to tell the school and what paperwork I would need to fill out. I even met my friend Michelle, who was speaking that day. She is a great school advocate for kids with diabetes. It was very worthwhile.
But even more importantly, during the conference I met a man who said he had a boy with Type 1 diabetes who was in our new school. I was thrilled and eager to meet him. I needed him to tell me what types of things were already in place for his son. I introduced myself and we began talking about our diabetic children. Then, later in the conversation, he said something about his son being a twin. What? Could it be?
Yes! What are the odds? He said his Type 1 diabetic son had a twin brother. Then, something else happened. He said his son's name and wouldn't you know it was the same as Rocco's!! Seriously, what are the odds? No, his other son was not named Zeke, but this was really cool! I asked him a couple of specific school questions and he referred me to his wife. Haha! He gave me her phone number and I called her right away.
As soon as we started talking, we became fast friends. She has become a jewel in my life. It is so refreshing to speak to another mother, living the exact same life as you, isn't it? She and I talk a lot about diabetes, but also about how this will all affect our other sons. Diabetes has this ability to enter your life and take over like a new puppy. You have to feed it, maintain it, and keep your eye on it at all times or it will eat your couch! So it is nice to speak with my friend who has the same worries about each of her children. Since our guys attend the same school, we also can collaborate on our school plans. Finally, we can talk about how caring for a 24-7 disease can be stressful, daunting and exhausting, but how we wouldn't change our lives or our guys for the world. I treasure the times we hang out together! It's like a free therapy session.
On the flip side, we also enjoy watching all four of our boys share the same life. Recently, in the middle of a bounce house playdate, we had both kids with diabetes check their blood sugar. But, the cool part was when I looked up I saw the other two guys stood waiting patiently for the number to come up. I was so glad for Zeke have someone to stand next to during the blood sugar break! As with our life, the blood sugar number dictates what comes next, even for the kids without diabetes. Maybe they get a juice boxwith their twin (if the number is low), or maybe they can just continue to exercise (if the number is a little higher). Between the three pairs of people - moms, kids with diabetes and kids without- we are like kindred spirits walking the same path.
Man! Meeting this family keeps unfolding perks on so many levels. My friend and I are hoping the boys stay close throughout their lives. We hope they will find as much comradery as she and I have found in each other!
It was even more strange that the two kids with blonde hair have diabetes and the brown haired kids don't!