Camp. Packing my daughter up, choking back tears and sending her away for a week without me? Best decision I have ever made as a T1 Mama. I first made that decision when she was 9. It was 6 months after diagnosis. 6 months after I first heard of Type 1 Diabetes. I would never have sent my child away for a night, let alone 7 nights if it weren't for the fact that she asked. "A whole camp filled with people just like me?" That's all that needed to be said. Of course she had to go. She deserved to go.
To her camp is home. It is a place where
everyone is just like her and everyone is normal. The first time she
came home from camp she joked that the rest of her family were the weird
ones. If your pancreas works, she now smiles and thinks that you're
different. Not the other way around.
At camp she hiked, canoed,
sang songs, preformed skits, made lanyards, scaled walls and repelled
down, swam, learned about caring for her diabetes and made life-long
friendships. And she did it all without a working pancreas. She did it
all without me. I wasn't there to tell her to check her blood. I wasn't
there to give her sugar at midnight for a low. I wasn't there to suspend
the basal on her pump when her activity level increased. I wasn't there
to make sure she covered her carbs properly. And she survived without
me. Actually, she thrived.
She came back a mile taller. Filled
with confidence that I had never seen. She was proud. Proud of her
independence, proud of her accomplishments (she has learned to give
herself shots, insert her own pump site and more at camp) and proud of
her people. The Team Type 1 that she's now on is all she needs.
cried less this year as I packed her up for her third T1D Camp. I now
know the gift that is camp. I know that camp deserves to have my
sunshine-filled daughter there and that she will come back fueled-up.
Fueled up and prepared to be the odd one out at home, at school, at
activities...until the next year at camp where she blends in, relates