Saturday, September 12, 2009

Diabetes Makes You Prettier

Something that's a big deal to me is making sure my kids have good self esteem and a positive self image.  From the day they could understand me, I have told them how handsome and beautiful they are.  I'm always telling Reilly (my 5 year old son) what big muscles he has, and what a great soccer player he is.  Maddie has always been told how beautiful she is, and how smart and creative she is.  I think we all need a little encouragement every now and then. 

Ok, so this whole diabetes thing did a number on Maddie.  From the time she was diagnosed at the age of 5, she has experienced a touch of depression, embarrassment, anxiety, and so many other negative feelings that sometimes accompany the diagnosis of a chronic disease.  I can't say that I know how she feels.  Because I don't.  I don't have diabetes.  I don't have to check my blood in front of my peers.  I don't have people asking me if I feel low.  I don't have friends that tell me I can't eat something.

So from the very day she was diagnosed, I have told Maddie that diabetes makes her prettier.  Because I believe it does.  I tell her that there's no way in the world that she would have been this pretty if she didn't have diabetes.

I tell her it does something to her hair and skin.  I tell her that it makes her eyes a brighter green.  It makes her skin a more beautiful shade of tan.  It gives her eyelashes a tiny bit of extra length.  It puts beautiful blond highlights around her face.  It makes her teeth a little whiter and straighter.  It makes her voice sweeter and softer.  It makes her prettier.  Because I think it does.

My dad has said something to Maddie since she was a year old.  He has said it to her ever since then, and he says it quite frequently.

"Maddie, come here to your Grampa."  Maddie is the only granddaughter of 6 grandchildren.  She has her Grampa wrapped around her finger.  It is not uncommon after she is told "no" to hear her mumble under her breath, "Well, Grampa will get it for me."

Maddie walks over to my dad's open embrace, as he puts his face right up to hers, so as to tell her a secret.  "I have a pretty important question to ask you."

"What is it, Grampa?"  She always acts like she doesn't have any idea what he's going to say.

My dad gets this serious look on his face and asks her the same question every time.  "How did you get so pretty in just 8 years?"  He inserts her current age at that moment.  He is usually tickling her, or hugging her by this point.  She just laughs and shakes her head and tries to get away from his firm grip on her tiny little body.

She manages to get "I don't know" out as he's tickling her and as they're both laughing out loud.  I tried for years to get her to say, "From my mama," but she would never say it.

Now I know how she got that's because diabetes has made her prettier.

1 comment:

  1. Grampa will always ask her how she got so pretty in ____years. She is a precious little girl.