For several weeks this summer, my daughter played in a competitive softball league.
The whole tournament had my concern levels amped a little bit. Was she getting enough sleep? If not, was that why she was impossible to drag out of bed for 9 am games? It was so hot. She had to wear a lot of sunscreen. When they would slide into a base, they’d get all dirty. I was concerned about her hydration. I tried not to yell, “Make sure you drink some water!” every time she ran off the field. Sometimes they played a couple of games per day, leaving the team a heap of exhausted kiddos by the end of the day. My mom worries were the proverbial bee in my bonnet.
Watching these girls play, I couldn’t help but think of my own mother, and everything she did to make sure my childhood wasn’t dragged down by diabetes. I thought about all the parents like my mine. If my daughter had diabetes, I’d be thinking about how she’d wear her insulin pump in her softball uniform. Would her CGM sensor scrape off when she slid? Would the sunscreen application and reapplication make her device adhesives wonky? Would I be reluctant to correct a high knowing they’re running around so much? If she missed a catch, would I wonder if it was simply a miss or was her blood sugar dropping?
How would I do the dance of supporting her efforts and making diabetes feel like it’s “not a thing” when it would be the bee bopping around my brain the entire time she was on the field?
Buzz, buzz, buzz.
My daughter does not have diabetes.
But knowing what I know, and what back burner worries smoke up my synapses, I am constantly in awe of the parents who take care of kids who are like me. Their minds must work with the efficiency of a bee hive, dozens of questions and answers constantly being shuffled and managed, seamlessly creating a honeycomb of concern.
Hats off to all the parents of kids with diabetes. The work you do is noticed, even if your kids haven’t said “thank you” yet. They will. (They’re thinking it.)
We survive and thrive in the hive because of you.