Thursday, September 20, 2012

What We Teach (or What We Have to Learn)

I sent my oldest off to school today.  Nothing different from most weekdays.  She showered, dressed and ate breakfast quietly.  It was early and she is more of late riser, so our conversation tends to be nothing more than the facts.

"Did you remember to pack your lunch?" 


"Clean gym clothes?"


"Oh.  Bolus?"


Just a slight grimace on her face when I asked the last question... I know better than to bring it up, but sending her off to school is daunting without that final answer.  That was about it.  Then, the door of our car swung closed and she was off to start another day of middle school.

Here is where it is different:  Today, my daughter volunteered to open up and share a little insight of what it is like to live with Type 1 Diabetes.  She was going to broadcast the information on her school inner-television station and address all of her teachers as well as the listening audience - which is comprised of about 700+ students.

I wasn't going to be there.  Not to help her or guide her or even encourage her. 

I also didn't ask her to do this.  This is her own willingness to share her personal story.

Why on earth would any kid at this age open themselves up to be a potential target of teasing or bullying or just being perceived as being different?

My daughter is hopeful (and yes, young, innocent and brave too), so middle school doesn't seem like the tortured place that many of us remember.  Instead, she believes it to be a world unto it's own where kids are actually full of the possibility and hope of being able to make a difference.  Kids can nurture ideas, grow them into reality and make change. 

Kids are amazing.

At least that is what my daughter feels. 

When I think about the unfairness (and I don't use that term lightly) of all that she has gone through after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, this is the part of her that inspires me most; her ability to persevere through the struggles and to be able to find the hope - regardless of what she is doing or even whom she is with.

Even with a bunch of middle school kids that probably can not spell DIABETES but most likely, do not even care enough to listen or learn about what she is trying to tell them.

None of that matters to her.  All she sees is the hope that maybe one kid (or teacher) will listen, learn and maybe even donate to help us get closer to that cure. 

I feel like I have so much to learn.


Lani said...

Oh wow - this is so inspiring. My son is also in middle school and was diagnosed when he was only 3 1/2. Every year he also gives a speech in front of the entire school.

Anonymous said...

I love hearing of our kids doing great things. Speaking in public is daunting for even the most well-healed adult, so extra kudos!

Naturally Sweet Sisters said...

Thank you! All of our kids really are the coolest:)