So I saw HER.
I saw HER tonight once we arrived at soccer. Who? Saw who? You are most likely questioning.
The lady who PITIES Joe and I.
I haven't talked about it too much, but boy have I given it some thought. It has weighed heavily on my mind intermittently over the past few weeks. This incident needed some "processing" before I could put finger tips to keyboard.
In the (almost) four years since Joe has had type 1, I have not experienced an event like this:
- Three weeks ago this woman witnessed me checking Joe's blood sugar after his game/before the "DREADED" team snack. She then commented (within earshot of Joe and I) to another woman standing next to her..."THAT is so SAD...". Even worse, was then her son (Joe's team mate) was asking her "what is so sad mom?" (she was avoiding answering him) he again asks while raising his voice and tugging on her shirt-tail "what, what...what is so sad?" She then whispers to him to 'be quiet' and that she will tell him in the car.
Speechless...(which for me is RARE)
... and again WoWie, WoW, WoW... (thanks Junie B. Jones)... REALLY?
OK, so after I was stunned from the above verbage from this lady...that Joe's and my situation was "SAD". I began to really think about it. What do I want people to think? say? do? I mean REALLY???... Is there anything that people can say, feel, and/or do that will be "OK" or "acceptable" to me? Prior to this I haven't given it much thought. Well I can start off by saying I certainly DO NOT want pity. On the other hand, I don't want people to "blow off" the enormity of the disease.
In watching Joe day-in and day-out deal with the rigors of his routine with grace (most of the time). Here is what I WANT...Here is what I HOPE... people think (if they even give it a second thought) when they see my son, Joe, dealing with the likes of "D".
I want them to see his BRAVERY (this kid took a needle to his "A"-double-"S" for a site change while flying on an AIRPLANE mind you). I want them to understand that he is a HERO. I want them to "get" a 400 point blood sugar drop during hockey practice must feel like shit, but he still manages to skate well and have a good attitude. I want them to understand that he is AMAZING; the kid can add up 17g+17g+6g+10g+3grams of carbohydrate (for his Fluffernutter and milk for lunch), in his 7year old brain. I want them to know that he lives each day to the FULLEST...with GUSTO. I want them to know that he is a kid with HEART. I want them to take notice that HE DOESN'T FEEL SORRY FOR HIMSELF. He takes each day in STRIDE inspite of having a "Woodchuck #2 toting, carb calculating, needle wielding, insulin dispensing, lunatic pancreas on legs" following him around asking him if "his number feels OK." How he hasn't become "neurotic" after that last mouthful of a sentence I do not know, but he hasn't. He is SIMPLY JOE.
I WANT people to be in AWE of him. I WANT people to ADMIRE the courage and tenacity that he displays daily...heck HOURLY. I WANT that for Joe... I want that for me.
I DO NOT WANT TO BE PITIED ... I want to INSPIRE. Anyone who knows me knows that. There you have it... some more crazy-ass ramblings from a mom who hopes to do right by her AMAZING HERO of a son, JOE...who lives each day to the MAX hand-in-hand with "D".
Post Edit: I am not a confrontational person. Joe only has one more soccer game with his current team. I am hoping that I can show this woman what a day-in-the-life is like with finesse and tact.