I am slowly adjusting to not having any young men living in my house anymore. As I have said many times, it is a challenge for me on so many levels. I have found test strips in a few places and I can’t take it upon myself to pick them up. They are physical reminders of my child. I actually smile when I see them.
Yesterday I realized how much we can romanticize situations when someone is away. I am almost looking forward to getting up and testing my son through the night over Christmas. Gone is the dread and frustration that I carried for years. Now, I will be doing him a favor–and more importantly I will have data to look at!!
Life can almost be rosy when they are away and you are simply talking on the phone or texting. You can forget the challenges of trying to get a teen involved in his diabetes care. You can gloss over the attitude that they can carry with them, the eye rolls and the shrugging of shoulders. You don’t have to consider the fights over homework and grades. There is a certain bliss about the situation…and then there are the challenges….
I am not there to force him to do homework and improve his grades. I cannot physically see the assignments that he should be paying more attention to but I do see the results in his report cards. I am not there to ensure that he is in the house at what I feel is a decent hour. I am not able to make sure that foods are bolused and testing is done. This can lead to a sense of frustration and powerlessness. It can be torture….or I can go back to life with the rose-colored glasses fondly looking at dead test strips and remembering only the fondest of memories.
It is funny how the mind works. I am at the point where I do both–I think of my son’s laughter and sense of humor. I wish that I could still do more about his diabetes care. I want to strangle him and kick his butt over his plummeting grades. I want to hook him up to a CGM and be done with it no matter what he says.
Such is the challenges of a child who is no longer small. This is the way it is when he no longer lives in the same house, the same city, or the same part of the province. This is how it is when he is struggling to be his own man. It can be painful. It can be a learning experience for both of us. It is most certainly the greatest challenge of a parent.