Wednesday, September 05, 2007


A lot of people's emotions and attitudes are what they allow them to be. If a person focuses on the negative then they probably won't enjoy life very much. But, there are some people who don't have very many positives in their life, yet they focus on those few positives rather than the overwhelming negatives. They tend to have the best life of all.

It's all in how you look at it. And, I've been looking at it all wrong.

Some of you who read my blog regularly might find this hard to believe, but I am usually a very positive person. I don't tend to sweat the small stuff or the big stuff for that matter. I believe there is no reason to get worked up about something. If you can change the situation, then change it. And, if you can't, there is no reason to dwell on it, because you can't do anything about it anyway.

Sounds great doesn't it? It almost sounds easy. But, it's like diabetes is kryptonite to being positive for me. Sure, I have my moments where I think Riley will be OK. But, they are usually followed by a low, low or high, high which brings me back down to reality.

The other day my mom was asking why I thought Riley's sugar went so high. And, my answer was, "I don't know. Sometimes it just is what it is." It is. Sometimes you can do everything "right" and yet you still get crappy numbers. I guess that's what bothers me the most. I really have no control over what is happening with my child. Well, that's not true. OK, so I have minimal control.

Now that Riley is settled back into school I'm relaxing a bit and feeling a bit more positive. Yesterday his sugars did the best they've done in school yet. But, that's not why I'm feeling a little more upbeat. I'm feeling better because I'm focusing on the positives.

Not the positives of diabetes, mind you. I'm not quite there yet. There are no positives to diabetes. Period.

Riley's teacher got broken in really well the first week. One time she called and said Riley was drinking a lot of water and she tested him to make sure he wasn't high and he wasn't, but she just wanted to let me know. Or, another time, she called because while out on the playground Riley came up and told her his sugar felt low. When he tested, he was 171. She took him in the classroom and got him to test again and he was 163. She called me anyway because he said he felt low, but he wasn't. She called when he was high. She called when he was low. She told me when he went low she panicked because she felt like she wasn't reacting quickly enough. She wanted his sugar to hurry up and come up. I told her I felt the same way. She was doing all of this in addition to trying to teach a class of 5 year olds.

So, on Friday I sent a bouquet of flowers to school along with a thank you card for the wonderful job she had done with Riley all week. In it, I told her what a good job she had done. And, I thanked her for taking on the extra responsibility without ever complaining.

She sent me a thank you card back. Then, later that night I saw her at a football game. She came up to me and told me how much she enjoyed having Riley in her class. "He's such a trooper. He just does whatever he needs to do without complaining. And, he's so well-mannered. And, Holden, he's wonderful too. He's so patient with Riley and he's very patient with me as well. You have two wonderful boys there. You are truly blessed."

Blessed. Yes I am. Somehow I got caught up in the diabetes fog. I forgot what is really important.

I don't want other people to look at Riley and see a disease. I want them to look at him and see the cute, smart, somewhat sarcastic kid that he is. Ever since he was a little baby his smile could light up a room. We never had problems getting good pictures even when he was a tiny little thing. All you had to do was look at him and he burst into a huge grin.

And, Holden, he has always been my tenderhearted child. He can't stand to see someone in pain or to go without. He was the kid on the playground that knew which kid was always picked last to join in the games. When he got to pick, he'd pick that kid first just to make them feel better. He didn't care what other people said about it. And, one Christmas he wanted to buy a gift off of an angel tree for a kid who might not get anything for Christmas. I let him pick who to buy for and what to buy. He chose a little boy that wanted a bicycle.

"Holden, a bicycle costs a lot of money. (he was using his own money he had saved) Are you sure? Don't you want to pick someone else?"

"No, mom. Everybody needs a bicycle."

So, because of my child, there was a happy little boy that Christmas with a shiny red bicycle under the Christmas tree.

I've never had a bit of problem with him in school either. I've always had teachers comment on how nice and polite he is. Just yesterday a lady told me how much she enjoys working with Holden. "He is just so well-mannered. I would rather work with him than anyone else. He's so helpful. You don't see that much in a kid his age anymore."

Yes, I am blessed beyond belief. Diabetes is part of my little boy's life and so it is part of mine. But, it is only as big a part as I let it be.

God blessed me with two wonderful children. Sometimes I look at them and my heart feels like it is going to burst because I love them so much.

So what if my child has diabetes? He's still smart. He's still happy. And, just like his big brother, he cares about others.

For now, I'm putting diabetes in the background. No, I can't just forget about it. But, I can get it off of center stage. I may not have a whole lot of power over the lows and the highs, but I can at least chose how much I let it affect my emotions.

I am lucky to have the two boys that I do. I can live my life in fear from day to day of something happening to them. Or, I can enjoy that I have them in my life at all.

I chose the later.


Anonymous said...

I literally got the chills while reading your post. It is so easy to get caught up in the negative and miss the positives around us. It sounds like you have done a great job raising two fabulous kids. We need more great men these days - like yours will surely be!

Nicole P said...

Oh, Penny. This was just gorgeous. Thank you so very much for the reminder to look at all of the wonderful things I have in my life. We all need that sometimes. :)

Scott K. Johnson said...

Hey Penny - good kids often come from great parents...

A pretty clear example here if you ask me!


Lisa said...

So true! Thanks for reminding me. I was getting caught up in the bog.