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Discovery & Belonging
Is it going, going, gone? No, sadly, I am not referring to type 1 diabetes…yet. Instead, this is in conjunction with summer. I don’t know what it is about this past summer that feels so much different from previous summers. I found that it is set apart though from others. Most of our family activities were simple & continuous & just right. It felt though at times like it was a game of beat the clock. But it is the same clock so why would this be?
Have you found that there are times in your life when time seems to be flying by beyond belief? It must be perception because as I described the feeling that I could not quite capture of time zooming by this summer like never before my engineer husband looked at me for the zillionth time with a quizzical look. And I waited for it & it came. What “it” was included the statement of fact from my husband that time is the same measurement all the time. Okay, he & I kind of laugh at & with one another a lot. We laugh because we perceive the world around us so differently…through contrasting eyes & that is a great thing. The big things in life though we naturally end of meeting up on beautifully so that is what matters most. The wee things like the sense of time going by faster or at precisely the same measurement are well…small things.
Here comes the moment where I admit that as a mom that although I have absolutely loved having our sons home during summer vacations that in prior years I was ready for the switch to routine come the first week of September. It was not so much that I was looking forward to it coming but I was ok with it being a natural part of the changes in the seasons of life & seasons in general. I did not fight it in other words. This year even a month into the school year, I am for the first time ever still not at peace with the conclusion of the summer with our sons. I wonder what is different this year. You know, I don’t actually know right now. What I have come to realize though as I grow up is that I don’t have to know. Rather, it is more a point of coming to be okay with whatever the present brings that matters more to me these days. I will get there but I am not there yet.
Although I am not renowned for being organized, the one thing that I did do differently this past summer was that I did up a list of activities & maps to the outings with the boys. We got through 99% of them & near the end of the summer I was going at a breakneck speed to try to jam in the last few. It was a great kind of exhausting. My blood sugars showed their outrage many times especially on the especially hot days which for me cause my blood sugars to skyrocket when I spend a lot of time outside. One day I even had a rare thing happen with my infusion set that caused hours & hours worth of anguish. My tubing got snagged on a water gun & did detach from my body but was hanging on by little more than a wee bit. I did not realize that the snag had caused the part of the infusion to actually be outside my body thus delivering insulin to the outside of my body instead of the inside. I have not had very many infusion set incidents happen over the years. When they have happened I have had the wherewithal to have a look at the infusion to make sure it was still secure. Not this time though. Why would that be? I will tell you truthfully that it was because I was in public & the thought of anyone seeing me pull up my shirt ever so slightly on my waist & look at the infusion is private to me. My pump being on the outside for the world to see is one thing but my infusion is another. Everyone is a beautiful original so you may have a different perspective on this. Some people who sport infusions will wear a bikini & will be comfortable with the infusion showing. It is whatever a person is comfortable with that matters I think. There is no one right answer. At the time that the infusion came loose I was distracted & did not go to the logical part of my brain that would if I were at home direct me to check my infusion just in case. I was distracted by the lack of routine, the feeling of being caught up in the fun at the water park with our sons & I was in total relax mode. The next time I checked my blood sugar though I realized that something must be causing a problem as my blood sugars had jumped 13 points even though I was exercising & not eating & it was not overly hot outside. That was the point that I went into trouble shooting mode. One of the things I thought then was about whether my infusion & tubing were okay. I checked & this is when I discovered the bandit infusion. That meant the boys & I had to go home so I could put a new one in & correct & correct some more.
On a lighter & more positive note, the first week of July, I implemented my doctors’ lists (3 different lists from 3 different doctors for 3 different chronic illnesses that I have on top of type 1 diabetes) of foods to remove from my diet & felt better in terms of the previous 4 years of abdominal pains. What a relief. There have been a couple of flare ups with the abdominal pains over the past 10 weeks but they are pretty easy to explain with the possibility that not all ingredients are present on labels at times & possible cross contamination. I pretty much cannot eat anything other than something that I have prepared since my list of foods to eliminate is pretty lengthy but it is worth it to feel well finally. On a frustrating note, the guttate psoriasis that is permanent for me has gotten worse even with much effort on my part. I have resigned myself to going back on heavy duty medications for that again which is unfortunate. I won’t give up the dream of becoming “spot free” though! Enough of that road down the “woe is me” place I refuse to visit let alone live in.
Our sons are water babies. Maybe you can relate if your kids love the water too or maybe it is you that loves water sports. The vast amount of our summer was a variation on anything outside that involved water. They got their money’s worth & more out of their play water guns which seemed to be perpetually packed in our van aka the “dogmobile.” We drove to countless places that we had not yet discovered before & we had a riot most days together.
The thing that has always struck me as being so cool about kids is their easy going ability to make friends everywhere they go. Our sons are pretty comfortable with talking to kids that they don’t know & organizing outside games at the drop of a hat. I miss that about being an adult. Kids can travel way outside their neighborhoods & comfort zone in meeting new friends.
To share with you one special memory amongst many, one afternoon our younger sons & I packed up our dogmobile & headed to a neighborhood that we had never been to. It has a brand new park with a massive soccer field behind it & a water splash pad in the same area. It was lovely. There were oodles of kids playing in the park. In no time our sons had made friends with a group of kids in a similar age bracket. We almost did not go to that park or any park that day because like many days last summer it was chilly. The day was not one that would have pointed to it being one that you would want to get wet outside on. The thing is though that we were motivated to make some fun happen that day anyway. The group of new friends ran through the splash water & had their water gun battles. Then they started playing soccer & then got into a game of manhunt. They were energized, laughing & having simple, old-fashioned fun. I could hear the laughter of our sons & I still smile ear to ear about that. And the group kept playing & playing & I got to watch the sun set over the lovely neighborhood. And I had such a beautiful memory of being able to play outside until dark with my friends when I was a kid. That stays with you, don’t you think? And I thought that normally the practical side of motherhood may have set in & I would have let the boys know that we needed to go home long before this. It was not like that at all this time though. We had packed a picnic dinner & so really what did we need to rush home for I realized anyway. For sure it was getting chilly but not to kids who are running & having fun. For me feeling a wee bit chilly was not much of a price to pay for the laughter that I heard from the playmates that still echoes in my memory banks. And it also paled in comparison to the beauty of the sky as the sun began to set. Yes, to watch more sunsets right outside is the answer. What is the question? It doesn’t matter.
My heart’s hope for you is that when you venture outside your neighborhood or your comfort zone that you reach deep inside yourself & pull out the child that lives within each one of us & make a new friend & feel that sense of belonging. Oh, and definitely, please join me in watching more sunsets outside.
Smiles, Saundie :)
Blessings this Thanksgiving weekend. Enjoy the crunchy leaves under your feet & God's crayon box in full use outside. Next Monday's story is "The "What" that went to "yikes" & finally "Phew." :)