Today I cried. Again. I cry almost every day. Not because I am sad every day, but I am easily moved.
I called Melodie in to the kitchen to have her morning doses of insulin this morning. Her sisters were in their room having a play with their Barbie stuff, and Mel comes hopping down the stairs to me. I start with the blue one. We’re chatting about the playdate she had yesterday with her friends while we go over the same routine as we do several times a day. She finds a spot, I approve it, and I prick her with the needle – we count to five and done. On to the next one. I did the blue one (long-acting) first, then the red one (short-acting). I dial up the red and realise that I made a mistake with the first. I gave her the dose for the red one, so I now had to give her extra from the blue. I tell her I am so sorry but I need another go, and I see she is anxious to get back to the game, yet she doesn’t say a word or roll her eyes or tell me off for not being on point – she patiently waits until I am ready for the third injection this morning, finds another spot and we do it all over again. As I tidy it up, I tell her to wait a minute – I’ve got something to say. I know she wants to go and play, but I need her to know.
I sit her down with me, look into her eyes and tell her how deeply and immensly proud I am of her. She smiles and says “I know”, then she asks me why I am crying, and I really have no explanation. I hug her and off she goes to play – no care in the world.
This is what I wanted to say though:
Melodie, you are my hero, and I cry for you. I cry because I am sad that you, as a six-year-old, you’re meant to be colouring-in, playing in the dirt, wear dresses and pig-tails and dance around carelessly. You do, but also you do so much more. You are listening to your body, you’re being pricked and prodded all day long, you are being woken up at night for several different reasons and you need to ask for permission to eat.
I cry because you are so frickin’ fantastic at doing this as well. I cry because you never complain. I cry because you, as a six-year-old, have been faced with the facts that unless you do this, you can get seriously ill. I cry because you’re not meant to. You’re meant to be carefree and happy and have someone else worry about those facts. And yet here you are, understanding a complicated disease more than most adults. And inspiring your friends to be brave when they have their own check-ups. And comparing your own lunch-box to theirs, and never really being jealous because you know that stuff isn’t good for you.
I cry because you’re a legend. Because your legs bruise easily and you tell me you’ll still wear dresses and shorts because you “don’t care, it’s just my skin.” Because due to yourself being different you see other kids that are ‘different’ and you appreciate them. I cry because right now, you’re proud. You’re a diabetic and you will shout it from the top of the mountain and tell everyone how proud you are – and you educate people because of it.
I cry because all you want in life is a diabetes dog. I cry because one day you’ll be a teenager and we might have a struggle on our hands. I cry because I love you so incredibly much that it hurts every time we hit a nerve and you cry out in pain. I cry because there is nothing I can do. I am your mamma, and I am meant to protect you from everything that is bad in this world and I couldn’t. I cry because all I can do now is fight it and try my best to be as legendary as you are. And I even cry because I cry.
I cry because of the sacrifices you’ll have to make in life. I cry because I know you will cry. And one day, when you move out of home and go away to live your awesome life – I will still cry. I will never not cry.
I cry because I love you so much, and because you are my hero. And because you are an awesome little person who will do great things and I don’t want anything to stop you.
I cry because I’m not the only one crying. There’s a whole bunch of us that cry for you. We cry because it sucks, and we cry because you are fantastically brilliant and make so damn proud. And we will never not cry.