May 15, 2013: Memories
Madeline will be attending Diabetes Camp this summer for the very first time. She has never, ever, slept away from home in her entire life. Still, she is so, so ready for this experience. She needs it so badly: to meet people who understand what it is like to live with T1D, and to be in a place where she can do anything in spite of it.
We visited her camp recently, for an open house. We were there for only two hours, but we are still digesting the experiences and basking in so many positive memories of that day.
Like the smile that spread across Madeline’s face when she discovered that someone had the exact same insulin pump, in the exact same color, as hers.
Like the ease with which she approached kids she had never met before, introducing herself with a cheery greeting, and asking them if they wanted to make fairy houses by the nearby trees.
Like the eagerness with which she asked questions of the teen counselors who led our tour. She had so many questions about every aspect of camp, and those girls answered every single one with great details and tidbits from their own camp experiences. And, even better, their attention to her questions and their willingness to answer them helped her feel important and heard.
Like her excitement when seeing the inside of the cabins and her quickly made plans for how she will arrange her bed and belongings that week.
Like the thrill of being able to use ropes courses and learning how to ride a horse.
Like the relief she felt when realizing that everyone—including the cool teenage counselors—will be counting carbs and bolusing insulin, just like her.
And like the relief she felt when learning about how much support she will get in managing every little aspect of T1D so that she does not need to miss out in any of the fun.
As powerful as these memories are, they aren’t nearly as potent or transformative as the ones she will make during Camp Week. These will be experiences and memories that will sustain her from one camp year to the next, and will fill up her little soul for the rest of her life. I can’t wait, and neither can she.