Monday, May 10, 2010


I'm taking part in Momalom's Five-for-Ten posting challenge, and the first topic for discussion is Courage.

Parenting takes courage, there is no doubt about that.  Courage, or utter and complete ignorance as to the risks involved in taking responsibility for the care and feeding of another human being for the rest of their life.

It is dealing with it all when life throws you a curve ball, and you find yourself saying "HEY!, I never signed up for this!!  I never knew THIS would happen!"  Sort of like the GIs who signed up for military service in a time of unprecidented peace, only to find they had to go off to war.  Ya' did sign up for it when you agreed to do this... it's in the contract..  read the fine print.

We don't go around expecting bad stuff to happen.  We'd never get anywhere in our lives if we did, and yet parenting takes the courage to face whatever happens and find a way to deal with it.

Middle could have died Friday night.  He mistook his fast-acting insulin for his long-acting insulin and took WAY too much of it right before bed.  Luckily, he caught his error and woke me up rather than just go to bed.  He could have not even realized his error, gone to bed, had a hypoglycemic emergency and never woken up.  That much insulin without any food to compensate for it could have been very, very bad.

As it was, we were in a bit of a panic for quite a while, as his numbers kept dropping despite pumping simple sugars into his body.  But Middle never wavered.  He admitted he was scared, but he kept shoving sugar-coated orange slices into his mouth one after the other to the point where I half expected to see them tossed all over the carpet.  He didn't argue with me when I had to come test his blood every 30 minutes until I was sure we were past the worst of it.  He took it all in stride.

Which is exactly what he has done for the last 8 months since his diagnosis.  I think part of his bravery does come from a bit of ignorance - after all, how can a 9 year old wrap his head around just how serious a low-blood sugar reading can be?  But he handles it all with grace and bravery.  I hope I can follow his example.  I hope I can show him the same amount of courage that he shows me every day.


Amy Whitley said...

That sounds horribly scary. So glad he caught the error and told you. (Found you via Momalom today!)

becca said...

Wow, how scary. I am always amazed by the courage children can show in the most frightening of times. But I believe they would not have this strength within them without a role model (you) to show them how.

Nice to "meet" you through Five For Ten!

For the Love of Naps - Sarah said...

You show your courage by remaining calm and raising him to be courageous!

Glad he is okay!

Anonymous said...

Glad to have found you via Five for 10. And can I say I love your tagline!

Amazing bravery for both of you in a situation I can't imagine. I fear having to face a medical emergency with my boys someday. I'm not sure if I can cope. But when push comes to shove, I suppose we have to find it within ourselves. So glad that everyone ended up okay!

Anonymous said...

We can't plan our lives as neatly as we would like to. It takes courage to play the curve balls too. Your son will be a beautiful strong person because of the lessons he has learned from you.

Anonymous said...

It's so easy sometimes, for me at least, to let the fear overrun the courage. I'm so glad your son was able to draw on your strength and vice versa. How terribly scary!!

Anonymous said...

Middle is very courageous as are you, Mom. Insulin is very hard to understand. Worse is when the child relies on a pump that clogs or malfunctions.

Nice to "meet" you.

Shawna said...

Amazing kid and a terrific Mom! Thanks for sharing this story!

I'm so glad to have found you!

Sarah said...

Oh you are so right, we don't know what we sign on for. I mean we do, or we think we do, but really we don't. There's no book to lay it all out for us, and though we've seen our mothers and grandmothers, so many mothers over time, deal with children here, there and everywhere in front of us, it's not comparable to having your own child. To being put in a situation where you cannot wallow, you just have to act, to learn how to deal with the curveball. To move, fight, press on. Because there is no time to stop and get grumpy when it's your kid on the line, and especially in this case, your kid's life.

I'm pretty amazed that your 9 year old was giving himself the insulin and figured out it was the wrong one. Pretty amazed and absolutely thrilled.

You are brave...and so is he!

Rudri said...

Over from Momalom.

What a scary place to be. I am amazed how children respond to crisis. It seems they possess an internal grace, knowing exactly how to react and act.

I know it took courage for both of you to handle your son's crisis.

Thanks for this post.

TKW said...

Oh my gosh, you must have been frantic. I'm so glad everything turned out okay, and that he realized his error before it was too late.

Living with a chronic condition DOES take amazing courage.

Amber said...

How horribly scary!! Good for you--and him--for not freaking out! (AT least not too much...) : )

Aidan Donnelley Rowley said...

How scary. I am sorry that you had to go through this. Isn't it absolutely amazing how much our kids teach us about courage, about life?

Thrilled to have found my way here via Momalom!