A few times a week I find myself in a conversation or action that illustrates how different my son’s childhood is from his sister’s and classmates’— my own childhood. On one hand, I attempt to manage diabetes, but with the other, I try to orchestrate a “normal” childhood for Henry. We’ve never made any food or activity off-limits for him, but instead try a little bit of most things.
The weather is still warm enough to walk to and from school, and easily my favorite part of the day is being greeted by Henry after his day at Kindergarten. He usually has some very important fact to tell me, such as, 16 is an even number.
The day the local firemen came, Henry bounded out of the classroom door yelling, “How old are our smoke detectors? Did you know you can only use a smoke detector for 8-10 years? If you take it off, there’s a date on the back. Can we go home and see the date on the back?” (For the record, I did not know this).
Today he ran out of the door, hugged me, and took my hand for the walk home. He was uncharacteristically quiet, until he said, “I didn’t eat all my lunch.”
“That’s O.K.,” I replied. “What part didn’t you eat?”
“Chocolate Nibs. I ate a cookie instead. We celebrated somebody’s birthday. That means my lunch was 56 carbs, not 31 carbs.”
Our small town is so adorable that I jokingly say we live in Stars Hallow. It was a gorgeous fall afternoon, the maple trees orange blazes against a blue sky, leaves crunching underneath our steps, but we weren’t talking about any of that. Instead, Henry seemed almost worried, checking in to make sure everything was fine.
“You know that you can eat anything you want?” I asked. “We just need to know how many carbs it has so we know how much insulin to give you.”
“Yes, I know. The insulin comes in units. We count those too.”
Of course he knows. He knows beyond knowing.