B is graduating from 6th grade in a couple weeks. This means next year he will enter Junior High and desire more than anything, freedom. Freedom from calling mom. Freedom to go to a friend's house to study. Freedom to go to school dances and sporting events.
Tomorrow B is leaving for the 6th Grade Outdoor Education. It’s a camp that runs three days and two nights.
I’m not going. For all of it anyway.
I’ll be driving some of the kids from his class to the camp and I’ll hang around for a few hours to make sure his numbers don’t bottom out from excitement. His body is notorious for doing that. Apparently excitement eats up any sugar he has in his body at an alarming rate. I’ll make sure he gets through the initial, “OH MY GOSH I’M AT CAMP!!!” phase, and then I’ll pass the baton to him.
Information you should know:
* He isn’t going low at night lately. In fact, he is actually jumping up a bit between 12 and 2am.
* There is cell service at the camp in a few locations. He’ll have a phone on him at all times so he can call if he isn’t sure how to handle a number or a food.
* I’m internally freaking out a bit, but I know that I need to use my emotional trash compactor and squash down all my anxiety. Chances are really good he’s coming back alive. I have to lean on that.
* I am changing his set right before he leaves, and also inserting an extra "emergency set" just in case that one gets ripped out.
* Camp is about 40 minutes away.
* B is awesome.
Today B’s class headed to the High School for the “Westside Relays.” It is where all the elementary schools on the West side of town compete in track and field events. I told him this was his practice test. If he showed responsibility by checking his sugars and bolusing for the food he ate, then I would let him go to camp without me hovering over him the entire time.
He passed with flying colors.
His meter history indicated he checked his sugar 4 times. When I questioned him for giving only 5 carbs for lunch he responded that he was running around and with all the activity he didn’t want to drop low.
At 3:30pm when I picked him up from school he was 97.
Now…for the final. This is what I said to him:
“B, I am so proud of you for all your hard work today and your smart decisions. You are ready to tackle your Diabetes Final all on your own. If after camp, your meter and pump histories show me that you were on top of your diabetes needs, next year you won’t have to call me at lunch. Sure, I’ll check your meter every day for awhile to see that you checked and bolused, but if you are consistent, I won’t make you check in.”
He was giddy with excitement.
The fact is, B has been checking his own sugars, counting his own carbs and bolusing himself for a while. He only calls me so I know that he actually did it. So I know he didn’t forget. (Side note: Just in case you don't know, our school nurses aren't around for helping with the boys' Diabetes. It's a California thing.)
He’s ready to fly on his own, but I want to give him the satisfaction of earning it.
If he nails his final, he knows that independence will come with check-ins and surprise checks of his devices. He knows that he will have to start checking in with me if he starts “forgetting” to do what is needed. And he knows that will probably happen. He is human, he will make mistakes. It's ok.
He’s growing up. He is less than half a year from becoming a teenager. I can’t believe we’re already here…I feel like J and I had this conversation just yesterday.
It’s going to be a long couple of days. There is going to be a lot of praying. There is going to be a lot of faith given to my 12 year old. Inside, I’m going to be a bit of a wreck.
But on the outside, I’m going to be strong…and sure. And I’m going to show my son I have complete confidence that he is going to rock this.
He’s been studying for this since he was 5.
What can I do other than watch him ace it?