Do you see my fingers?
They are blue…
It will take a good week of sitting by the fire to get circulation in these joints again, and no amount of mulled wine seems to be encouraging the blood flow. It is not just one night of standing outside in the cold that has caused my fingers to freeze and my nails to turn to sea colour, it is three. Three nights of standing in the street, hands close to dropping off with the cold, feet screaming protests in my boots, but my eyes laughing with festive joy and my heart full to the brim of pride.
I have been watching my eldest perform.
And performing, it seems, is something she does well.
When Twin Girl was diagnosed with diabetes, we saw a change in our oldest child. The gremlin that dances on her skin, feasting on her glucose, took something with him when he sabotaged her immune system, her confidence (outside the family home) was shot to pieces. Suddenly we found ourselves coping with new trials and tribulations daily, as a family we didn’t know what the next day would hold. We worried about leaving her with strangers, she worried about being left. My daughter, who used to radiate northern brass (despite being southern born) was suddenly meek and panicky.
Then she said she wanted to do drama.
For three hours,
Like everything new we worried about the impact on her diabetes, but resolute that this condition would only make her stronger, we took her to a group called Theatretrain, gave a brief overview of Type 1 and left her to shine.
They welcomed her in with open arms. Her teacher didn’t blink at blood tests, didn’t quibble when I mentioned hypos, didn’t act in any way that made me think my daughter wouldn’t be in the best of care.
But still on the second week, she didn’t want to go back.
Not because of the class, no, she loved the class, it was because I insisted she needed her bag near her at all times, and she felt different.
What kid wants to be different?
A heated discussion continued, and suddenly it hit me, my child was telling me the truth. She could have just turned up to class, ditched the bag and I would have been none the wiser. But she trusted me, and in return I needed to do the same. So we agreed, the bag stayed in the cloakroom, and she would fetch it if she was hypo or felt she was running high.
Since then, my daughter has been returning to me.
Her confidence has grown, inch by inch each week. She spends hours in her bedroom, furiously practicing the moves, singing the songs, and she smiles, she smiles whenever she is singing and dancing.
And she performed.
This week and last, on the street, in the station, wherever her teacher asked her to go. I am not sure her teacher knows the impact her drama school has had on my child. How we can really see pure happiness shine through her when she stands in the group and sings her little heart out. I can only thank her for letting my little girl just have fun and be ‘normal’ when sometimes her diabetes threatens to spoil all the fun.
And call it mothers love, but she is outstanding, and this week, she was recognized by her teacher for working so hard in her first term of drama.
She came home bouncing, and (as many regular readers know) I am not one for long heartfelt loving posts about my kids (in fact stories of hell and bogies are far more my style.) But today, I just felt in sharing a bit of pride about my eldest girl.
My type 1 warrior - who would be amazing, with or without diabetes.
I think all teachers are deeply under recongnised for what they do with our children, and I hope that Molly’s realises the difference she is making to her life. Six months ago, Molly only saw what she couldn’t do, but now, she is different, full of hope and plans to one day rule Broadway. I didn’t give her this confidence, her teacher, Tiffany and her team, helped facilitate this change, and I can only thank them, for giving my girl her mojo back.
Check her out! (she is the one in the middle, next to the very talented but a bit shorter girl!)