Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I left them.

It’s a right of passage for any kid.  But for a kid with Diabetes, having your parent leave you alone is a huge milestone.

This week the boys’ schedules are off the charts.  Tons of crazy going on the last week of school, and as such we have three different pick up times from school.  Since the littles got off an hour before the bigs, I brought them home to do some dinner prep before returning across town to do the second round of pick ups.

“Let’s go guys.”

“Nah.  We’ll stay here mom.”

I stop in my tracks and look back at my 11 and 9 year olds.

“You’ll be okay by yourselves?”

“Absolutely.”  B says with his brown eyes shining back at me.  He said it sincerely, not trying to convince me, but rather just stating it as a matter of fact.

“OK,” I say hesitantly.  “You have my cell phone number if you need me, or if something comes up.”

“OK.  See ya.”  He says casually.

As I was making my way to the High School I thought about the big step it was to leave my two littles, (my two littles who both have diabetes no less,) at home alone.  Sure only for 30 minutes.  But still…a lot can happen in 30 minutes.  Especially since Murphy’s Law is like my 5th child.  I tried to shake the negativity away...my in laws live just a few blocks away from us.  All will be well.

Then it occurred to me, if Ryan were here, they wouldn’t be left alone.  In fact I’m pretty sure it was only within the last year we left any of our kids home alone.  My two little guys are going to grow up faster than the two older boys.  This is probably the natural order of things anyway…but sobering nonetheless.

I’m a big fan of keeping kids, kids, for as long as humanly possible.  Growing up is hard.  Just ask Peter Pan.

Was me leaving these boys any different than me taking a nap on the couch?  Hardly.  They take care of themselves like little pros these days.  They check if they suspect a low, and they treat if they are.  They dose if they are high.  I’m nothing more than a message board to leave word of what they have done.

Sure, I count carbs.  But during the daytime hours, that is all I do that they do not…and to make matters worse/better…the two boys that don’t count carbs are starting to take the wheel on that.  They’re pretty brilliant at it too.

So I left them.

And when I drove into the garage B flew out of the house and knocked on my car window.

“Hey.  Do you want to know what happened while you were gone?”

My stomach did a little figurative bit of throwing up and then I asked, “What happened?”

“I cleaned the bedrooms and the bathroom.  I vacuumed.  I cleaned the kitchen and put away the groceries.  Wanna come see?”

And so it goes.  Children grow.  Hard things become softer. 

And it becomes OK to let them fly.  Even if just for 30 minutes.


  1. Great job at letting them have some independence and letting them spread their wings! I hope I can do that too when my daughter is older. =)

  2. What great kids! I know it's hard leaving them, even for a few minutes. I still have trouble leaving my 16 year old alone. He was dx 9 months ago.

  3. It is a sad happy day for you all. The littles let you go (even if only for 30 min) and while you were gone they held you close - they saw what you do and did it so you didn't have to. You are in their hearts and minds. You and Ryan made some amazing little men. From all Ive ever read about Ryan - I see him in them as much as I see you. The way they care for you - it is what Ryan would do.

    I do have to ask though - did you ask them to check sugars before you left or had they recently checked? I ask because I frequently leave a combination of my kids home - 13 year old daughter with my 9 year old son (both type 1), my 11 year old son with my 9 year old son, my 11 year old and my 13 year old, sometimes all 3 together. Depending on schedules I leave my kids. I have this habit though of asking them to check sugars and tell me how much active insulin they have on them. Whether it will be 20 minutes of 2 hours (yes 2 hours) I ask. Occasionally my daughter will roll her eyes but she still checks - its the price of their independence. Its that or we ALL go to the grocery store - ortho appointment, post office, etc. They do accuse me of being too worrisome but alas they still check.

    1. Yes! We had just checked sugars and had the after school snacks, so I knew all was well on that front. There have been a couple times in the last couple weeks that the three youngest, (the three with type 1,) had to be left alone for a couple hours. Thankfully, texting makes distance of no consequence. I texted it was time to check, they did, and then they reported back. How did parents do it so long ago without cell phones? A lot of faith, I suspect!

  4. I think this was one of the hardest things for me to do as a parent. To leave my children alone! A very scary thought, even scarier with a child with diabetes. I started out in baby steps, 10 minutes at a time. Then moved on to longer times. The older one has D, and the younger hypoglycemia. They are great at taking care of each other. I am thankful.
    I think Christina said it all best. You and Ryan laid the groundwork for raising 4 amazing wonderful boys. I hear (and see) so much of Ryan in what you talk about in your sons. You are to be commended for being an excellent parent. Letting goes is hard, but the pride in our children's faces that they can handle being alone, is priceless! And Yes, thank God for cell phones! I too have my daughter check her bg before I leave, unless she recently has done so. She may not always want to, but as you say, it is the price of freedom for my leaving them alone. So far so good. And they ALWAYS take care of each other and sit with each other, if one isn't feeling well. Great job Meri and to your amazing young men you are raising. I say young men (even if they are the littles) because I think kids with diabetes grow up so much faster than other kids. Sad, but true. And it is times like leaving them home, that this maturity comes in handy.

  5. I may not be a mom (young yet), but I know my parents struggled anytime to leave me alone (and kids with diabetes especially). I know that your kids appreciate that and it is great that you give them freedom as a child with a disease. It helped me grow as a diabetic!

  6. Amazing!!! Yay for you and those great boys of yours!!! Can I ask how old your oldest with diabetes was the first time you left him? I often contemplate how I will ever leave my oldest (my 10 year old diabetic) home alone at any age (I have thought how she will feel about me bunking with her at college) ha ha ha!!! But as you said it is a right of passage, so I know that we will get there. Thanks for this post, it helps to hear about the independence your boys have and giving my daughter hers.

  7. So.HARD. I have left my 8-yr-olds alone with 15-yr-old brother while I slept in the other room or ran a quick errand, but the thumping of the heart doesn't STOP while I'm away! They know how to check, they know how to treat lows...all of them. But, Murphy's Law is my child, too! I'm not sure how I'll handle ever leaving them alone. Their wives may object to me supervising them while she's gone ;)


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