If Only They Could See Me

 

 

…through my eyes.

eyesphoto

So there is a saying that I say to my kids (especially my daughter) often.

“I wish you could see yourself through my eyes”

I tell them this because I see them as strong, smart, brave, beautiful kids with amazing souls. Now granted they can be little hellions too, but this blog isn’t about teenage hormones and how it is a cruel joke that God continuously giggles at.

Sometimes insecurities cause us to be our worst critics and it is then that I wish they could see themselves how I see them.

Tonight – I find myself wishing something different.

I find myself wishing some of those I love most could see ME the way I see ME.

Maybe it would help them understand me. Maybe it would explain a few of my several shades of crazy. Maybe it would allow them to let go of some of the UGLY they DO see in me.

I guess I should share how I see myself: (not all are positive but for the sake of honestly I shared everything I see yet nothing as bad as I sometimes thinks others see in me)

  • Honest to a fault
  • Overweight
  • Loyal
  • Loving
  • Outgoing
  • Outspoken
  • Trusting
  • Funny
  • Generous
  • Witty(ish)
  • Smart(ish)
  • Sarcastic
  • Positive
  • Quiet (when I am hurting)
  • Quick Tempered
  • Not quick to forgive (yet I almost always do)
  • Stubborn
  • Potty Mouthed
  • Scared
  • Irrational/Very Rational (depends on situation)
  • Meticulous yet slacking
  • Dorky
  • Far from graceful
  • Tendency to over react
  • Insecure
  • Brave
  • Strong
  • A good friend
  • Afraid of failing
  • Lonely

When it comes to diabetes I worry a lot but it doesn’t consume me. Not like it used to. I roll with it more often than I loose it. I admit it is harder with my daughter who is trying to exert her independence but not always doing what I think she should.

When there is a conflict between what I think she should be doing and what she thinks she is doing I become the enemy. It wouldn’t be fair for me to share all sorts of sorted details about recent disagreements so I won’t. She has a life to live after she leaves my home and although I don’t share my kids names those who know me, know who my kids are and sharing our dirty laundry with the world would be wrong.

That being said – if she and all my family could see me through my eyes they would see a mom and wife who loves them more than the sun, moon and stars – more than Reese’s (that says a lot). They would see me trying my hardest to hide the anxiety I feel when they are off doing fun things for extended periods with others that don’t know D like I know D. They would see me struggling with giving them space while trying to hold their hand. They would see me wanting the very best for them. Just enough sorrow to recognize the happiness, just enough strife to make them strong, just enough fear to make them brave, just enough rejections to make them know when they are wanted, just enough failure to help them succeed. They would see my heart break twice as hard as theirs when they are sad. They would see me want to ‘end’ those who hurt them. They would see my heart swell when they are happy. They would know I never want to yell, I don’t look for arguments, I don’t intentionally cause them stress. They would know how sorry I am when I make mistakes.

If they saw all of this maybe I wouldn’t be accused of looking for things to be angry about. I wouldn’t be accused of waiting for others to make mistakes so I could point them out. Being negative is the last thing I ever want to be. There are enough woes in this world without me looking for them.

I don’t know much in this world but I know how to love. I know I’m a good and honest person. I know I make mistakes. I know I’m not perfect. I know I use my ugly voice more often than I’d like. I know I’m always trying to be better.

I wish those I love could truly see me because sometimes the person I believe they see is not very pretty.

 

Freedom

This is my first remote post – meaning I am not sitting in my own desk chair with a dog curled up at my feet. I am currently sitting at a place called Main Event. It’s an arcade, pool hall, bowling alley, rock gym, laser tag place. It is a fantastically wonderful magical place!

On Monday nights there is a special it’s called Monday Night Madness. For only $20 a kid they get to do unlimited rock climbing, bowling, laser tag, mini glow golf, and video games galore. It starts at 4pm and ends at closing which is something crazy like 2am (btw there is a full bar too).  The latest we’ve stayed is midnight – since we are here by 4pm that is 8 hours of fun for them and quiet time for me (even with todays pop 40 blaring from the bowling lanes).

The kids check in every 30 minutes or so to grab some cheese fries, sip some water or if I’m lucky sneak in a hug and tell me how awesome of a mom I am for bringing them to Main Event – if they only knew it was more about me than them. (ok maybe equal me and them).

Tonight I have so much to catch up on. So many DOCers (people involved in the diabetes online community) have returned from the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life conference with stories to tell. My family couldn’t attend this year so I was living through them – all the tweets with quotable moments from different conference sessions were fantastic.

Here are a few FFL posts I have enjoyed so far:

Karen at Bittersweet Diabetes 

Kerri at Six Until Me 

Scott Strange at Strangely Diabetic

Another great one from Scott 

Jess at Me and D

Shay at Just Same Changes

Allison at Diabetes Mine

Meri at Our Diabetic Life

Martin at Diabetically Speaking

Kate at Tenaciously Sweet 

Kelly at Diabetesaliciousness

This is all I’ve read so far – I’m certain more will be posted soon and there may be dozen’s I just haven’t gotten to yet.

Back in April during the Health Activists Writer’s Challenge Month there was prompt that asked if I titled my posts before I wrote or if I titled them after. Normally I title them before because I have a specific thing I plan to write about. For this post I titled it “Freedom” because I had intended on writing about the fact that I dropped my Sweetstuff off at the movies without me – first time. I wasn’t worried about diabetes – I was more worried about her talking to strangers. It was great allowing her the freedom to grow up a bit and not worry about diabetes.

I was also going to write about the freedom a place like Main Event allows me to relax while knowing my kids are safe and entertained. I did touch on that but then I went a different direction – I shared posts regarding the Friends for Life conference. I was contemplating a change in title but realized it isn’t necessary. I haven’t been at the FFL conference since 2009 – but I do remember the sense of freedom I felt after each conference. Freedom to raise strong, healthy, amazing children with diabetes. The freedom to talk about diabetes, the freedom to admit that I do get overwhelmed, I do get sad, I do get very angry and freedom to admit I make mistakes and need help.

No title change necessary – I hope you check out the blog posts I’ve shared and find more and might share them with me in case I have missed them.

 

 

Be Thankful

Tonight I am thankful for the opportunity to argue. I am blessed.

 

Less than a week ago I learned that an incredible family was attending an amazing event. There is no other family more deserving. I am not comfortable including names or events since it is not my place to do so. I learned tonight that one of the parents of this family had to be hospitalized during the vacation. My heart aches for this family. I have said multiple prayers already and will continue to send up healing prayers. I hope you will join me. You do not need to know names or circumstances – just pray for those in need of healing, families in need of support, spouses in need of comfort. The Lord will know of who you are thinking of.

I had a great day today. I twittered, I read blogs, I unpacked from a great trip to see my dear husband, I cleaned house, I had a dinner with a friend. Then things got a little messy with family and I was feeling down. I sent out a message on twitter “good day gone bad – should go to bed but instead twittering and reading blogs – send recommendations – I need something up lifting”.

I got a tweet back from a fellow D parent offering support and kind words. I replied with gratitude and questioned why he would be on twitter when he was at an awesome event that I couldn’t attend. He then shared the news of the family in crisis. Thus I felt ashamed for feeling down about arguing with my spouse and whining about a good day gone bad. I am blessed to be able to argue with my spouse. I would prefer not to argue of course – although sometimes I would prefer to tar and feather him. The thing is I am blessed with the opportunity.

Tonight I want to take a minute to thank God for providing me the opportunity to fuss at my spouse. To argue with my kids. To scold the dog. Then I want to ask him to continue to provide those opportunities for this other family. I’m guessing my family is not much different from most – for every moment spent fussing at each other we have 100 moments of joy.

Therefore – dear Heavenly father grant all those that I know many opportunities to fuss at each other. Keep them safe and well. Poor down your grace upon this particular family. Heal the unwell and strengthen them.

Up Hill Both Ways in the Snow

Up Hill Both Ways in the Snow

Yesterday I was driving a 14ft Uhaul truck that I had packed with a good deal of my house (clutter) to the storage unit. The truck was so big I felt like the Lily Tomlin when she did the skits with the big chair – video completely unrelated to post other than a reminder of Lily in the big chair.

While I was driving the truck I thought about all I have done to prepare my home for the market – painting, packing, small repairs, etc. I also thought about the big move coming up across the country to a new state, new schools, new friends, new job, new home, etc. While thinking of all the difficult tasks I have completed or will need to complete I thought about how I became so able to complete the tasks.

I thought about my years in the US Air Force – and all I accomplished serving our country. I was never very athletic yet I graduated basic training with honors – not an easy task.

I thought about earning my undergraduate degrees and how long it took and how many schools I transferred to to complete my degrees. It took 10 years after graduating HS and 5 colleges because I began in WI after HS but then joined the AF thus transferring to a school that I could attend while serving in the AF. However, I didn’t get to finish before having my daughter and moving away from that college so I transferred again and attended college with a toddler at home and pregnant with my second. I completed one degree shortly after my second was born but went to another college to obtain my second degree while pregnant with my third. Yet I did it and while learning has never been difficult for me balancing work and kids with school takes some talent.

I thought about how being a parent is not an easy task yet I like to think I do it well despite being without family in my state to help.

I thought about how being a parent of children (yes multiple) with diabetes is a frustrating, difficult, heart aching job – yet I do a fairly good job of it most the time – and on very little sleep.

I rarely take a moment to congratulate myself for my accomplishments. I spend most my time berating myself for not being better, stronger, faster, smarter. Yet I allowed myself this short moment of self congratulations. While patting myself on my back I realized I didn’t get to be as strong as I am on my own.

I got here because I had extremely demanding parents who expected a lot from me and my older sister. We didn’t get a free ride.

My mom taught me how to iron my dads work shirts when I was in kindergarten. I was emptying and loading a dishwasher and folding clothes in kinder too. When I was 7 my folks bought a bar and our house was connected to the rear of the bar. Before school I cleaned bar bathrooms, mopped bar floors, washed bar glasses – all this in addition to regular housework. By the time I was 9 I was mowing the acre of land surrounding the bar. We moved to a new home when I was 11. At our new home we boarded horses – I mucked horse stalls, bailed hay, watered the horses and help feed them. Our land grew so did the amount of lawn I had to mow. I also shoveled snow, cleaned the pool and helped with various projects. On the weekend we cleaned house. If I went to a friends to spend the night I had to be home before 9 the next morning so I could do chores. My older sister and I were also the summer babysitters for our younger brother and sister.

I got my first job when I was 15 at a photo lab and portrait studio. I took the bus after school everyday to work at the lab – in the summer I rode my bike to work (I think likely about 6 miles each way). I bought most my own clothing, shoes, everything. (well I didn’t buy my own car – my dad bought me a 1978 reliant station wagon when I was 17 – thus I guess I did get a free ride).

I didn’t like my parents a whole lot when I was young. I thought they were mean, and treated me more like a slave than a daughter (sorry mom and dad if you are reading this but keep reading).

It was during the drive in the gigantic Uhaul that it dawned on me – I am as strong as I am because my parents never allowed me to be weak.

I have thanked my parents at various times for instilling in me an incredible work ethic. I give my all to everything I commit to. I got that from my folks and Ive known that for a long time. However I didn’t realize how strong they helped make me until I felt like the tiny child driving the gigantic truck and I wasn’t afraid. I never once thought “I can’t do this”. In fact I rarely think that – I just assume I can do all things.

So maybe my fluency wasn’t awesome while I was in elementary school because my folks never cracked a book at bedtime. Maybe my homework wasn’t always turned in because my folks expected me to do it without them telling me to. Maybe I got bullied a bit longer than some because my folks didn’t pick up the phone to yell at the school. The thing is – I survived and I am a stronger better person for it. I am an uberfast reader now (despite my tendency to make up words), I earned nearly all A’s in college (if we don’t count my first semester of my freshmen year), and I don’t take crap from anyone now.

What I learned from my moment that began with self congratulations but ended with self realization – I learned I may be too easy on my kids and I may be setting them up for failure. I may not be raising self-sufficient confidant individuals because I congratulate them for the smallest achievements.

I have seen what too much coddling creates – it creates the bagger at the grocery store that gossips while putting my raw meat in with my fresh produce and canned goods on top of my eggs. It creates the life guard at our community pool that falls asleep in his life guard chair or another who invites teenage girls to sit on his lap while on duty and then becomes angry when moms call his inappropriate behavior to the attention of management. It creates kids who can’t do their own homework because their mom has been doing it for them for years. It creates a lazy “what about me” society.

My goal this summer – teach my kids how to do laundry, mow a lawn, wash dishes, mop a floor, vacuum, clean a toilet, and cook. They will not like me very much this summer but they will thank me one day.

Thanks for baring with me in my non-Diabetes post – while this blog is mostly about the betes – life isn’t’.