Saturday, September 5, 2009


For most moms, Kindergarten is bitter sweet. Your child is growing up, learning new things, exploring the world around them, and adapting to new surroundings and new friends. Your child goes on real field trips, stays longer on play dates, and has a new array of interests.

As a mom, you don't want to see your child get bigger--you want them to stay a baby, at home, with you. Because the older and more mature they grow, the further away from you they get, and the closer they get to eventually leaving the nest. But at the same time, you want your child to grow and learn and do things that you can be proud of.

For me, not so much. Kindergarten was a feeling of dread. What am I going to do?? How will Maddie get her shots? What if she gets low, and the teacher is busy teaching? What if she passes out in P.E.? What if she gets too low in the morning?

I am fortunate enough to have a husband who teaches in a wonderful Christian school. This school is full of wonderful administrators, teachers, parents, and kids. There was no question whether or not I wanted Maddie to go there. Just like public schools, this school didn't have a full time nurse. Or a part time nurse. Or a nurse at all.

Shawn and I talked it over, and we would meet with her teachers and show them how to "handle" Maddie's diabetes. We knew her teachers, and we knew that they were excellent at what they do, and we knew that they LOVE kids. I'm sure everything will be fine.

Keep in mind, blood sugar and insulin had been my 24/7 life for about 6 weeks. It was "no biggie" by that point in time. I had done the single-mom-of-two-kids-one-having-diabets thing while Shawn was traveling. It was easy by that point.

Shawn called me and said, "Get your mom to keep the kids for a couple of hours Thursday morning. We're going to meet with Maddie's teachers." Great! Wonderful!! Everything is going to be fine! I'll teach them the condensed version of what I learned, and they'll be fine. Whew!!

The night before, I made a list of things that I needed to show them, a list of things I needed to tell them, I gathered the items that needed to be kept on hand, and I typed up a notebook, yes, a notebook, full of things that they may want to have in writing, and I got lots of extra needles and lancets out so that we could all practice shots and blood glucose monitoring.

All I can say is that I sat down in a teeny-tiny chair, at a teeny-tiny table across from two of the sweetest kindergarten teachers that I know, and started going down my list. They were quiet, and they listened intently. And I kept going, and going, and going. And when I was through showing them how to stick a needle in Maddie's little bitty arm, I looked up at them to see if they had any questions.

Now, I don't drink coffee, so I don't have many cups and saucers lying around, but I am aware of how big a saucer is, in comparison to one's eyes. These two sweet ladies were motionless and silent. Their eyes were as big a saucers, and they didn't even blink.

"OK." Her teacher spoke very slowly.

"I'm not sure if I can do all of this." The assistant spoke very quietly.

"Well, I've shown you exactly what to do, and I have it all written in this notebook. If you want to take this home and look over it, that will be fine. If there are ever any questions during the school day, you can call my cell phone."

I got a phone call the day before school started from the principal. They had hired a nurse to be at the school every day!

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