Item #1: Fall Festivals and other Autumn Gatherings
Ah, fall-- my ultimate favorite season. I love everything about it. Crisp weather. Cozy clothes. Boots (hello!). And yummy yummy scents that fill up warm homes. And there's the dilemma. Not only did the diagnosis of Type I Diabetes in Michael rock our world from an obvious standpoint, it has trickled down even to the tiniest corners of the heart. I am a baker who loves treats and sweets and scents and giving these goodies away to people. From even before I had children, I looked forward to the days when I'd be baking with them in the kitchen. Last year at this very time, I was in my third trimester of my second pregnancy and was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and couldn't indulge in much baking. But I secretly didn't really care since Michael wasn't old enough to partake in many treats. I resolved that this fall-- this one right here-- would be the start of many fun adventures between me and my children, baking in the kitchen on cool fall afternoons. And then Diabetes came back to this residence to stay.
With Gestational Diabetes, there is a definite ending point. I knew that as soon as Noah was born, my bout with Diabetes would be over. In my mind, I would only have to put up with one season of holidays where I couldn't fully indulge in many goodies and second (or third) trips to the food area at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I never imagined that this adjustment of food choices and calculation of carbs, and blood sugar checks would now be a permanent part of my life due to Michael's diagnosis. There is no ending date for him. Not here on earth, anyway. I know that one day, Jesus will return and all who believe in Him and follow Him, will join Him in Heaven and we'll be healed! No more brokenness. No more pain. No more pancreases that quit making insulin. I pray that my children seek Jesus early in life and never look back. I long for this. I long for healing for a broken little boy who doesn't understand why his fingers get pricked and his arms and legs are poked with injections multiple times a day.
From the heart of a baker of a mom, Diabetes stings. It seeps and grows and it can take over every single aspect of your life--whether you are the one who has this disease or not. We are actively working in our home to have this not be the case. I read all the time about people who say "you can live a normal life with Type I Diabetes" or "if you have Type I Diabetes you can do whatever anyone else can." I am working to make this true for Michael.
Therefore, this fall, when other two year olds are pitter-pattering around their local fall festivals, we're going to be right there with them. Michael will be dressed in an adorably cute costume (I haven't decided what that will be exactly-- read: the fall consignment sale where I'll buy his costume hasn't rolled into town yet), and he'll be carrying a candy bucket. At the end of the evening, the plan is for him to "trade" his bucket of candy for a new toy or perhaps a bucket of small toys. I got this idea from my Nana, who is the mother of my Aunt with Type I.
And on other crisp fall days, we'll be out on our screened-in patio (if the construction crew EVER arrives and screens it in) tracing leaves onto paper and making leaf-impressions by coloring on paper overlaying them. Perhaps inside there will be a nice autumnal candle flickering for us and offering a light scent of fall treats and spices (enjoyment of fall without the carbs, I say). Or maybe we'll wash our hands with apple-scented soap from Bath and Body Works. We're going to enjoy this fall, Diabetes-- you hear?
I plan to structure holidays around crafts rather than around treats. My Pinterest board for all the yummy snacks I planned to make with my children will be overtaken by cute craft ideas that are seasonably appropriate. We will make this work. We will find peace with our lives. Diabetes will not destroy us. I'm writing this more to remind myself than anything. My son will live a normal life.
So it'll take adjusting here and there. Fortunately, Michael is not in school. We can skip worrying about school holiday parties for now. Fortunately, Noah isn't old enough to trick-or-treat, so we'll skip worrying about how we'll handle his consumption of candy until when we cross that bridge a few years from now. (Although I do believe that when Noah is of age, I'll have him trade in his bucket of candy as well, because, in all seriousness, who needs to eat a bucket-full of candy?)
I'm going to do the best gosh darn job I can do as a mom to make life enjoyable for my children. So Michael may not be able to have a "who can eat this tube of cookie dough the fastest" race with Noah when they're age 8 and 6, but who decided that was enjoyable anyways? :) I pray that my sons find peace and solace in their home, that they always feel rested and refuged here. Treats disappear fast anyway, but a paper showcasing a crayon leaf tracing lasts way longer. :)
(Stay tuned for a post about "How We're Going to Do: Christmas!")