A few days (weeks, months... I'm not entirely sure) ago, I was watching the Friends episode where Chandler and Monica are trying to find a sperm donor. The unsuspecting mark is John Stamos (well, some dude whose name I can't remember, played by John Stamos) who thinks he's just there for dinner.
Monica and Chandler start bombarding him with bizarre questions about his health and family history, and I was all smiles and chuckles until Monica piped up with, "Do you have a history of diabetes in your family?"
And that's when it hit me. I mean, I guess it has hit me before, but in bits and pieces. But this time it struck me full force in the face... the world views my child as damaged, or less than.
I know there are people out there who see diabetes as a liability. I've had at least one mom tell me flat out that she didn't feel comfortable driving Elise to or from a sporting event. I've witnessed her get left out of birthday parties that included sleepovers. Another Mom confided in me that having Elise over for a play date makes her nervous.
But I also wonder what judgments await her down the road? Will diabetes be responsible for her not making a team? When she turns 25 and starts dating will potential partners hear diabetes and head for the hills?
Elise herself has told me she's not entirely sure she should have kids because she doesn't want to give them diabetes.
Sad things to think about when you're 8.
In fact, Elise told me a story about a boy who told her she couldn't play soccer with them at recess because "she has diabetes".
Cue blood boiling.
But here's where I see hope. Because a little boy in her class turned to the soccer-bully and told him, "you can't talk to her that way." Side note - I really like this kid. Between you and I? She should totally marry him. You know, after she turns 30.
Sometimes the kids get it though. Better than we adults. One of my favourite stories is about a little boy in Elise's kindergarten class who was sweet on her. R's mom told me that she overheard him say to his Grandma, "I think I'm in love... Nana, you should see her! She has diabetes and even wears a pump... she's beautiful and she's perfect!"
A little 5 year-old who gets it.
1 week ago