Friday, July 22, 2011

Of Falling and Freedom

Rrrrrrinnnnngggg, rrrriiiiinnnggg (that's my phone at home, isn't it cute?)

Hi, is Grace there?
G, phone for you!
Oh hi M, uh, yeah, let me ask my Mom. Mom, can I go to a Splash Party tonight with M at her swim club? It's from 7-10 pm.

Uh, sure, yeah you can. I can pack your bag and all.
What I thought: M's mom is pretty savvy, had G for playdates, I can give her the cheat sheet for Grace for swimming, all should be ok with this...

Oh and she said it's a drop off splash party. M's mom is dropping her off and then picking her up about 9:30 PM.
Can I talk with her Mom?
Hey there J, yeah, tell me about it... (lots of adult supervision by the swim club, half her school belongs to this local club, there is a DJ, food, games and prizes, the Mom used to go to them when she was a little girl)
What I thought: GULP. Grace all alone to care for herself and her D? But surrounded by her friends who know her. Adults who don't know D at all. She will be devastated if she can't go and the only reason I give is that she can't because she has diabetes. That would suck. I can't tell her that. Cause thats just not true. But can I really let her go to this???

And before I give it one more second to suck the joy from the moment, I answer:
Absolutely, she can go.
Where the hell did that answer come from so fast I think. Then, you know what, I surrender to it. Of course she can go. I would have let my other kids go. She's responsible. She's ready.

Grace jumps. For joy that is. And hugs my legs.

We start to plan. Decrease your basal for swimming by how much Grace?
-30% Mom, for an hour at a time
What are you going to do if you feel the slightest bit low?
Get out of the pool. Tell a friend and an adult. Test and drink one juice if I am 50 or above, and drink two juices if I am below 50. Wait 15 minutes and recheck.
What if your Pod falls off?
Call you on my cell phone and you will come down and help me change it. Disconnect that Pod and wait for you.
You are right, I am only 10 minutes away, I will come and help you.
And Grace, you have to call me every hour, with your number, ok? It means you will call me at 8 pm and 9 pm. OK?
Ok, I can do that. Can we make it 8-8:15 and 9-9:15?
Ok, I'm willing to do that.

8 PM phone call
Hi Mom! I'm 88. I forgot to decrease my basal when I started swimming, so I just did that now.
Ok hon, why don't you have a juice too, before you jump back in the pool?
Ok. I went off the diving board!
Cool, what else you doing?
Hanging out with my friends, half of the school is here. I swam in the deep end. They are playing a game right now and kids are out of the pool, but I didn't feel like playing the game.
Ok hon, have fun.
Bye Mom, talk to you at 9!

9:10 PM phone call
Hi, is this Grace's mom? Yeah, Grace fell at the pool just now. She's pretty scraped up, but doing ok. She's really crying though and would like you to come and pick her up. We've cleaned the scrapes the best we could, but she wants to come home.
Hubby races in the car to the pool, about 8 minutes away.

Grace pulls up at home, sobbing. Out hobbles a little girl who looks like she was running the bases and slid into home - on her toe, right knee, right side of her tummy and right elbow. 'Tore up' isn't even the words to describe it. You know when concrete/cement walkways around a pool meet skin? Yeah, that.

We sit her on the kitchen counter and amidst the sobs, hear her story of how she started to run and then remembered she wasn't supposed to run around the pool and went to slow down, only to trip and fall on the cement. The lifeguards quickly helped her. The concession stand woman helped her. Her friends surrounded her and helped her.

And my little girl says 'It was all going so well until this happened.'

And I start to ramble about 'you should see how many times Mom and Dad have fallen around pools and on cement and it could happen to anyone, everyone has scars on their legs of times they have fallen, it could have happened anywhere and aren't you lucky it happened at close to 9 PM and not close to 7 PM when you first arrived' and she starts to calm down, among the cleaning and the Neosporin-ing of her 5 scrapes.

And then, as the night closes in and when we are sitting on her bed together, re-hashing it all, sitting in the cool air conditioning, in a Mommy-fashioned nightshirt and underwear that lets all the scrapes breath and be free, she leans close to me and says..

'Thanks for letting me go tonight Mom. It was great freedom.'


Jules said...

Penny, I loved this and yet it brought me to tears. Frank is with no one but me or Andrew at the moment. It is so full on but he is getting so ready for independence too. Today as I queued at the post office he went on his own to another till and paid for some bubble mix on his own. Your parenting of Grace inspires me somuch and I love how you tell your tales. Hope she is all better now and scabbing up nicely!

Joanne said...

Awww, this post made me so happy but sad at the same time. Loved the last line. I am hoping that I can be just as cool as you when Elise starts asking for her freedom.

Valerie said...

So sweet. And how awesome you were able to let her go and trust that it would work out okay because you're confident in what you've taught her (does that make sense? I hope so!). Sad about the fall...but yes, that happens to everyone and I think the way you responded was so great.

Holly said...

You are such a great D-mom! I love how you gave her freedom-what she probably wanted more than anything, and you've shown her exactly how to care for herself! You are doing an amazing job. : )

Guess my verification?? Hollysee-cool.

Misty said...

Oh my are an awesome D Mama!! I am so happy that she enjoyed her freedom...sorry about the scrapes though:( Hope she's healing nicely.

Our Diabetic Warrior said...

That last comment just melts the heart! It's so hard to let them go. You are a great D mom!

I hope she's feeling better.

Alexis Nicole said...

I was on the edge of my seat!

Upside it wasn't a D related issue! Some how that always helps me when J has to stop cause of just normal kid stuff.

You my friend are awesome. I'm so happy she had a good time! She totally deserved it!! Love you :)

Unknown said...

I am sitting here sobbing...I am not quite sure why.,,seriously tears are just streaming down my cheeks here. I think it is because we are at the same phase with this "independence stuff" with our kids. This hit really close to home for me. I am so happy for her (not the scrapes but the "freedom").

P.S. Thank you for the info yesterday. I am thinking of a similar plan for Joe. I could not quite share all that is going on. Let's just say I am in the middle of a Shit Storm. :)

Anonymous said...

This is going to sound weird, but I'm so glad cuts & scrapes ended the party for her. I'm so glad it had nothing to do with diabetes!

I'm letting Q go to day camp soon & there won't be "trained" people there. But I want her to experience camp. She's so excited.

Does Grace have her own cell phone?

(Oh! And yay for you for giving her the adventure!)

shannon said...

wow. that's all i can say. wow.

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

Yay. Period.

Rachel Lynnae said...

I absolutely love this story. It reminds me so much of my childhood. I can't remember the first time my mom gave me some of the same freedom. But I know that I surely enjoyed it! It seems like Grace is a very responsible girl and I think she will do well with the freedom. Great Blog it brought me to tears! :)

Hallie Addington said...

Oh! How sweet! And heartbreaking at the same time! I'm so glad she went and so glad she enjoyed herself! And I'm so impressed with you handled it! Great day- even with the scrapes!!

Tracy1918 said...

Penny, somehow I missed this post last week. Glad I read it today.

You inspire me! I'm so glad you let her go, but you know what? I couldn't have done it. I'm not there yet.

I need to work on that. Because freedom is everything to our kids.

Yay! for Grace. Well, bummer about the pool fall, but hey--diabetes didn't stop the fun!

k2 said...

Penn -
I'm so freaking proud of you and Grace!!!!
And as as the fall/scrapes - It happens to the coolest of the cool, and your story just proves that fact!
Kelly k