Something that I have realized through the years is that when the elusive and often, unpredictable business of growing up happens, as a parent, you are never fully prepared.
Shaking my head later in the day as I reflect, "And to think, it seemed like any other Tuesday afternoon."
That day, after entering our beloved Tar-Jay, oldest daughter proceeded to walk around me, over to the prescription counter and calmly, yet carefully, place a request for a refill on her fast-acting insulin.
Slightly surprised, I quietly watched and then, as she turned around, gave her a thumbs up in my dorky, mother.loves.what.you. just.did, way. This promptly earned me an eye roll with a look that said, "My mother is such a dork."
Ignoring the look, we pushed the cart away from the pharmacy, and I repeated the instructions to return for pick-up in about 15 minutes. Oldest daughter patiently replied, "I know mom. 15 minutes." She then distracted me with her chatter about the upcoming class council election, her friends and their current dilemma of how to manage the competitive campaigns. Loving the inclusion into her world, I happily listened while pretending to shop.
We rounded another aisle, with cute home items, and again, I was immersed in her world with chatter about her future apartment and how fun it would be to decorate the space, which of course included dreams of a New York City loft.
Pausing as we passed grocery, I veered the cart towards canned items while glancing at my watch. Fifteen minutes had turned into 20 and with the fear of the pharmacy closing, I teetered on forgoing the things I needed and running back to pick up the script.
"Mom. I got this. Why don't I leave you here and go back to pick up the insulin?" She smiled brightly as though it was part of a daily routine that we established. The truth of the matter was that she had never completed this task, nor had she left me somewhere to shop.
Hesitating for only a moment, I agreed and off she went. I watched her gracefully walk back through the multitude of product-filled aisles and brightly colored displays in search of the pharmacy.
Collecting my items, I eagerly walked her same route, arriving just as she was signing her name on the electronic keypad with consent for having received her six vials of insulin; roughly three months of life.
Squinting my eyes a bit, it was almost like watching a younger version of myself. She smiled, made small talk and nodded her head enthusiastically to whatever the pharmacist shared.
She was clearly establishing her life.
As a mother, I am not sure if I was ever fully prepared to see how quickly the days of childhood would recede. For so long, it felt as though it was me and only me with the endless tasks of managing T1D. This moment, so long in it's arrival, suddenly filled me with a sweet sadness at the subtle change of management. We are supposed to teach, to let go and to quietly watch the transition of the childhood metamorphose into adulthood.
Which I will.
I will because the beauty is seeing her accept, manage and own her life.
What a wonderful moment to witness.