Thursday, July 14, 2011

Swim Lessons - A Guest Post

Giggle Giggle!

While Heather is away on her little trip, I high jacked her blog!  But I'm not going to go crazy and run amok.... I'm just going to be nice and do a little guest post for her while she's away having fun!  And I DO hope she's having a blast and getting in some relaxation!

Let me introduce myself... I'm Hallie.  I blog over at The Princess and The Pump.  My daughter, Sweetpea, is FIVE days younger than Lovebug.  And Sweets and Lovebug were diagnosed just a few short weeks apart.  The girls even have the very same purple unicorn that they BOTH named "Uni".  I hope that they can meet each other someday very soon!

Today, I'm going to let you into my world and talk about something LOTS of kids do each summer - take swimming lessons!  With diabetes along for the ride (swim?), it's always more complicated than you expect!

Sweetpea started swim lessons this week. 

She has been waiting for lessons to start and eagerly anticipating all the fun she would have!  But the night before her first lesson, it wasn't FUN that was on her mind.

"Are you going to tell them about me?" she asked.
"Tell them WHAT about you?  Your name?  I can tell them. But you could tell them too,"

Now, I know what she was asking  but I didn't want to just assume and inadvertently make it a big deal. 

"Nooooooooo!  Are you going to tell them I have diabetes?" she asked in her 'you are so annoying' voice. 

"Oh, that!  Well, what do you think?  Do you think that is something your teacher might need to know?"

"Yes.  I do."

"Ok!  I'll tell her.  I think it's a good idea to tell her, too.  Then if you feel low she will know what you're taking about. She can help keep you safe."

I felt conflicted.

I was glad that she understood that it's important to do what keeps you safe and that telling certain people about your diabetes is important.

But at the same time, it's hard for me to hear that it's something she thinks or worries about.

I just want her to be the same.  SHE just wants to be the same.

But where is the line?

The line between being the same and being safe?

The thing is, she will never really be "just like" all the other kids.  She will never be totally the "same".

It's the unspoken reality.

Things will always be just a little different.

And maybe that's the victory.  That it's just a little different.

And that different is not all bad.

For example, I was one of two Moms who hung out during tennis and swim lessons. 

It's ok with me.  Sweets WANTS me there and I like watching her play. I especially like the "thumbs up" she occasionally gives me!

As it turns out, it's a darn good thing I was there.

I was told that her swim lessons would be a beginners class for 4-5 year olds.  It was day one.  Some of the kids had been to the previous sessions but I was told it was fine to only do session two.

Towards the end of the lesson, the kids went into the four foot section.  Sweets can't touch there.  There were no floating devices.  She was told to tread water. 

She was trying.  I watched her little head go under and come up as she struggled for the side of the pool.  It happened about 4 times.

I was on my feet.  Ready to go.  But she got to the side. 

The two teachers were working with other kids and not watching the others.

I was concerned but I stayed put. 

Then it happened again. 

No one was watching.  She was trying to follow directions and tread water but she kept going under.  She was struggling.

I got up and went to the side of the pool and helped her out. 

As soon as she saw me, she started to cry.  She was scared. 

So was I.

She was done.

So was I. 

But, in that moment, I was also glad for diabetes.  Because of diabetes, I was right there. 

And oh boy, I was so glad that I was right there!

And that's how it is with D.  We walk this tightrope.  Do we tell or do we not?  Do we stay or do we leave? 

Every choice has consequences.

Some good and some bad.

But what I'm learning by living this life with diabetes is that there is good and bad to everything.

Diabetes - just like life-  is not black and white.  Not even close.

So it's my choice. 

I can focus on the black.
I can focus on the white. 

But if I look at it both ways, I see a rainbow!


The DL said...

This is so true even as she grows up. I wonder who to tell and who not to tell all the time. Great post!

Misty said...

SO glad that you were there watching Sweets! And a very good point that you make...LIFE is not black and white! Hope Heather is enjoying her "day off"!

Amy@Diapeepees said...

Good thing you were there for her, because it sounded like she needed you. Sometimes our kids need us, and it transcends diabetes.

Meri said...

I'm glad you were there too! What a scary scary situation for a little girl. They are there to learn to feel SAFE...not vunrable!

Valerie said...

Even though she was struggling, she kept trying, and I am SUPER impressed with that! Sometimes I still want my mom to accompany me to certain things or just be my cheerleader...and I am 26. Not sure that ever goes away! So nice that you were there to support her :)

Unknown said...

So glad you were there to help Sweets! What a scary experience Hallie. The "rainbow" is beautiful. I see it ... most of the time. xo

Lora said...

Swim lessons are scary. We ended up doing private lessons so that it was one on one.

D has made me stay many times. As they get older... this question gets harder. At what point is it okay to go?

Anonymous said...

My sister had a similar experience with her non-diabetic girl a few years ago ... Teachers were not paying full attention to all of their charges and my sister had to go get her daughter who was in danger of drowning. Yes, it's a good thing you were there.


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