Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Teaching Daughters and Security Guards

Last night, a dear friend gifted us a four-pack of tickets to see a local basketball game.  Without hesitation, our family accepted with grateful hearts because for the first time in many weeks, we could go without having to hurry back for school projects, work deadlines or any of the other million of things that constantly consume our daily lives.  The gift wasn't just about a basketball game, but more about the opportunity to do something fun while relaxing together.

Once we arrived, oldest daughter and the Naturally Sweet dad, raced ahead with their longer legs to enter in through security and ticket scanning.  They had their tickets and youngest daughter and I had our own set safely tucked into our pockets.

However, once in the security line, things rapidly slowed as three of us carry purses.  Mine was simple enough with a quick scan, but our daughters had to pause to pull out their test kits and open those to show what was inside.  Youngest daughter and I made a few jokes as that extra time allowed us to catch back up with the long-legged crew.

Moving through the line past security and suddenly, another security officer reached over and stopped my husband.  Pointing at his outer coat pocket, he motioned for the Naturally Sweet dad to take out his water bottle and toss it into a big bin marked for prohibited stadium items.  The Naturally Sweet dad, a true follower of all rules, turned to our oldest daughter and motioned for her to do the same.

Catching all of this as I looked ahead, I hurried through the line and started to yell, "NO!  Wait!  That water is for our daughters.  They are allowed to bring that in for their medical condition."

Oldest daughter looked at me and I could tell that she wished for nothing more than for her mother to stop talking and possibly wither away.  (And maybe I should have because we do have the luxury of being able to afford buying another beverage within the stadium.)  However, I just couldn't.  This was suddenly a teaching moment.

Instead, I calmly but forcefully explained section 504 of the ADA to the security guard and then, to the two others that came to make sure that we were not causing too much trouble.

In a matter of minutes, both water bottles were properly returned to our family and we were allowed in without further hesitation.  Oldest daughter seemingly forgot her embarrassment at mom and was back to giggling and joking with the rest of the family.

After we took our seats and were casually watching the warm-up to the game, oldest daughter leaned over to me with a conspiratorial wink and said, "That was pretty cool, mom."

I smiled back and said, "Thank you.  I am glad you are having fun."

"Not that, mom... The security guard.  You really knew your stuff."  She smiled again and suddenly seemed proud that I was able to represent our family.

We then talked a bit about her future and how diabetes tended to make events tricky.  I admitted that I also didn't like to have to stand up for our rights and that I wished (must like anyone else) that we could just sail through without having to say anything.  I also explained that one day, I knew that oldest daughter would be without me and that one bottle of water might be the only access that she would have during her time away from home.  What if her blood sugar was struggling that day, causing dehydration or ketones?  If she let the first 'no' stop her, the situation could quickly escalate to needing emergency services or worse.

While the basketball game will most likely be forgotten in the grand scheme of life, I am sure that the security guard incident (as we know call it), will be remembered for many years to come.

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