Guest Post: The Cookies.
I met Leighann last summer in Chicago while on business at BlogHer. She is a smart, active, passionate mom and although I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her daughter, I can already tell she is just darling. I have always been “loud and proud” with my diabetes, and it’s great to see other children following suit.
This past week we moved to a new house in a new neighborhood across town.
It has actually been about three months since we put our house on the market, sold it within a week, and quickly put an offer on this house. It was a “hurry up and wait” situation in many respects. As we waited those months for the move to actually happen, my husband, who likes to take the kids to various parks on the weekend, began taking our two kiddos to the neighborhood park less than a third of a mile from the new home.
He figured this would begin getting them used to their new surroundings. I was actually surprised that when we moved the kids never looked back. I thought they would miss the only house they’ve ever known, but they don’t. A few days ago the doorbell rang. It was a family from across the street. As we began talking the mother remarked that we looked familiar and then realized that she had met my husband and kids at the park a while back.
As if a light bulb went off in her head, her eyes got wide and she looked down at the plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies* in her outreached hand. She looked from me to Quinn and back again. As she opened her mouth, in apology I’m sure, I cut her off. “It’s fine. She can have cookies.”
Turns out that at the park Quinn did as she often does: she told her life story to the family. A story, which of course includes the fact that she has diabetes, needs insulin, and has a pump. She doesn’t tell this story to garner sympathy, but it’s just part of who she is.
Recently a teacher remarked, “Quinn has never met a stranger.” And then at our 504 Plan meeting another said that even though they keep it confidential, Quinn tells everyone anyway. I think this is a good thing. Maybe she helps demystify diabetes. Maybe she helps dissolve some misperceptions. Maybe she puts a different face on a condition that the general public usually sees as the Type 2 stereotype.
At the library one day she began talking to the octogenarian couple at the next table. When it was time to go I learned that she and the old man were talking diabetes and comparing how they test their blood sugars and get their insulin. They were incredibly impressed. I felt pride for her. I know a lot of people try to hide their diabetes from others, but not my Quinn.
Maybe she’ll become a diabetes advocate. Well, in addition to being a singer/ dancer (but not actor) in Hollywood when she grows up.
*She did in fact enjoy those cookies over the next few days.