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Between Dinner and a Movie.

Saturday nights when we were very small were the best. 

We made blanket forts and used every damn cushion in the couch.  Laying pillows on the floor, we'd jump from down-filled island to island, pretending that the carpet was infested with alligators and only by balancing on the pillows would we be safe.

The babysitter always promised to make healthy dinner, but usually we ate popcorn, chicken fingers, and drank diet soda by the bottle, filling the glasses to the very brim and frantically slurping the carbonated foam awayI loved this doll.  I even pretended she had diabetes.  Which is a bit odd. before it could spill over.

My favorite babysitters were the ones who played with us, not just sat there and talked with their boyfriends on the phone.  Carolyn was my favorite one of all and I named my Cabbage Patch doll after her that year.  She was pretty and smart and the characters she pretended to be were so clever.  She was the perfect example, to me at seven years old, of what a 'hero' really was.

My parents had a standing Saturday night "date night," and they would go out to dinner either alone or with some friends, then maybe to a movie.  Usually they left when it was still light out, while we were still outside playing in the yard or just coming in to have a snack.  My brother and sister and I played and fought and made messes and told stories and generally destroyed the house, like little kids do.

Only now, when my memory is jogged, do I remember the headlights pulling back in the driveway, between when dinner ended and the movie began. 

Dad would wait in the car while Mom ran in quickly to test me and give me my bedtime insulin injection.  Then she'd say goodnight to all of us and run back out to the car to continue "date night."

Only now do I remember those moments and wish I'd named "Carolyn" after my mother, instead.

Comments

As a parent of a child with type 1, your last line completely reduced me to tears at work!

Now I am crying after reading that. Thank you for writing about your mother and what she has done for you. As a parent of a little girl with Type 1 it means a lot.

I was so lucky that my regular babysitter when I was young was also Type 1. It made it so much easier for my parents to know that I was in the hands of someone who understood me and my diabetes. We are still in touch to this day.

I'm another parent of child w/ Type 1 D and agree with above comments and message @colcalli sent in Twitter. It's now been 7 yrs since son's diagnosis and he's old enough now to care for himself so getting more "me" time back. I'm hesitant to write that. Wouldn't want anyone to think I begrudge the life we've had so far. He is the biggest gift I could have ever received and through it all, I know we're stronger. I'm just now starting to turn the reins over to him and now we're entering a new phase of "normal". We just didn't have that many sitters over the yrs that I felt comfortable leaving him with. Really has only been my family on rare occassions.

Wow, someone else had the alligator-infested waters thing going too! ;-) For my brother and me it was a comforter unfurled to become a life raft in the middle of the dining room floor :-)

I was a little older than you (12) when diagnosed, so I don't have the same memories, but my mom took more than one vacation day off work to take care of me, rather than do anything remotely vacation-like. She was a 'parent monitor' on more than one thankless school trip so that I could enjoy the event, blissfully unaware of her guardianship. Wish I could tell her now how much that meant...

It does really make you appreciate the constant phone calls from mom 1,000 miles away asking what my numbers are, if I have enough insulin, and freaking out anytime I saw a blood sugar over 150. Great post Kerri, makes you slow down time and appreciate things a little more.

Your mom rocks!
I loved my Cabbage Patch kid. My niece has it now and it sits next to her American Girl dolls. Did you have any of those? :)

Sometimes, I'm guilty of taking other people's blog posts for granted.
It's the gems like this one that remind me of what a wonderful writer you are!
Bravo!

I'm also a parent of a type 1 diabetic, and I can't stop crying right now.....

I had some really cool babysitters growing up. One I even named my dog after (it was a complement, even though, looking back on it, it might not have seemed that way).
But my poor mom. And dad. They put up w/ so much. I'm thankful for them every day.

My son is recently diagnosed (oct. 2008) with Type 1. Great post. We have grown quite a bit with him in his management. When we came home from the hospital after three days, it was like having a new born again. We were terrified, nervous, glad he was home but intimidated with this new reality of life that we all were confronted with. To read about your mom running in to check on your blood sugars, not only is it awesome... it's what "we" as parents do. As parents, you guys are our lives now. We don't just do what we have to, we do all we can do for you guys. It's very touching to read accounts like yours as you look back. As well as how you are able to live such a rich life while giving back. For us parents who aren't diabetic, we live outside the Diabetic world, but still walk through it with you... these blogs are quite an inspiration, many at the times when we really need them. Thanks.

Kerri- This is hands down my favorite post that you have ever written. I am going to go hug my son now!

I'm the mother of two young type 1's and I love this post. Thanks for the tears :)

I remember her. Wonder what she's doing now. Now those were the days with the alligator infested waters and our couch forts. We had so much fun. I miss those days. Great blog kerri berry. Love u ttyl...

As a type 1....your parents are my new heros!

What the heck?! You can't have such a touching entry like that and then rip our hearts at the end!!! I can't stop crying!!!

Thanks Kerri! I'm a mom of a T1 daughter now almost 6 years old....your post today really tugged at my heart.

Thanks for the cry!!
I agree, it's one of my favorite posts... I too remember hopping from cushion to cushion, and my own Cabbage Patch dolls... and now as a mother of a T1 son (age 7, dx @ 3), I can relate to juggling "me" time while still being a responsible parent. This blog touched me so. I had to forward it to 2 more mamas of T1 kids. Thank You!!

What a beautiful post. I was diagnosed with Type I at the age of 16. My brother was diagnosed two months later, at the age of 14. To this day I remember hearing my mother sobbing when the doctor phoned her with the bad news. I never had to deal with babysitters and diabetes, but I know my Mom would have done what yours did, had the illness struck sooner than it did.

Such a great story, Kerri. Thank you for sharing it!

I hadn't realized that jumping from cushion to cushion was a universal kid thing - we did that too!!! I loved this post - my son is Type I, and he is only 5. Because I am always hoping that we are doing this "right" for him, your post is especially inspiring. You know, I imagine at the time that your mom just "did what needed to be done" and probably didn't give it a second thought - but to hear that you remember and appreciate all these years later, must make her simply glow with happiness. Great, great post.

Thank you again, Kerri, for a beautiful post and for recognizing and acknowledging your mom for all she did. It gives me hope that my 12 year old DD will one day look back and not remember me as the nag she thinks I am currently, but as the mom who tried hard to let her be a kid first and deal with the d-monster second.
PS Have a great time at FFL! We're green-eyed with envy here, wanting to go back again.

Mothers are amazing! Espeically mother's of type 1s!! That's such a sweet story of how your mother found balance for her life and helping you maintain yours. Very touching!

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