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[IP] I might need some help with this one...oh boy....(long!)

Erica has her first 'boyfriend'!!  To her it is someone who is fun to be
with.  To me it is a scarey thing, as I told her he is NOT a boyfriend,
but a BOY friend.  They  met at a an elementary school dance the other
night. Arrrggghhh she is too young for this!! She will be 12 in June.  I
was taken by surprise by this and have to keep things at a low key.  Her
oldest sister was too busy for a boyfriend until she was 15.  I am going
to have to get prepared for the future I guess, that is one of the
reasons for this 'book'.

Yesterday he came over to the house to go play at the schoolgrounds with
Erica and her friends.   He arrived as we were getting her lunch and
when she went into the bathroom to wash her hands, I followed her in
with the blood kit, thinking she might not want to do her blood sugar in
front of him as he didn't know she had diabetes.  She said "mom, why did
you bring my blood kit in here?"  I bluffed and told her I just thought
she would want to do it while her hands were still warm.  "No, that's
okay, I'll just do it at the table" she said.  I was so proud of her for
making the choice to be herself in front of him, then it struck
me......she didn't make a choice at all.......I was the one giving her
the opportunity to hide things, thinking she might be embarrassed to be
so open about diabetes in front of him.  THIS IS NEW TO ME! She didn't
think twice about just going about things the way she normally would.
When she put the kit on the kitchen table, I noticed he was looking at
it intently and asked him if he was wondering what she was doing.
"Nope" he said "my aunts and uncles have those too because they have
diabetes".  Erica's friend's started talking about diabetes and Erica
picked up the edge of her sweatshirt to expose her pump.  She told him
all about it, how wonderful it was, how she didn't have to take needles,
she could sleep in, she could eat when she wanted to and almost
everything she wanted to.  She went on to explain about the infusion
set....everything!  He thought it was so cool and came over for a closer
look.  She sounded like a spokesperson for Minimed.
This, obviously, was a very positive experience for her.  As she gets
older that isn't necessarily going to be the norm is it?

We have NEVER been a family to hide the fact that diabetes is part of
Erica's life.  She tests at her desk at school, has been doing that
since starting school, and we have always been open about it.  Next year
she enters a huge school and as she gets older, and gets involved with
many new people, I will worry about her getting hurt.  She is so
refreshingly honest about her diabetes,  that I worry about her being
set up for a fall when she gets into the older grades.  This, of course,
if not something I will let her know.  She just enjoys everything sooo
much now, nothing gets her down.......I don't want that magical bubble
to burst.  I have heard so many people say they hid their diabetes when
they were in their teen years.  Was it because of a negative
experience?  I am not naive enough to think things will always be this
easy for Erica.

Any words of wisdom from anybody? Something to put in my binder for the
future when she is actually more serious about boyfriends. Erica will
have to fight her own battles, but it doesn't hurt for me to give her
ammunition, and have an emotional triage set up to deal with the

Erica is so fun loving and I want that to last for as long as possible.
This morning she called me up to the bathroom where she was on the
throne.  "Open the door mom" she said.  I figured that she was going to
show me a big bubble in her tubing (she always checks when she goes to
the bathroom), that's usually the only reason I would get a call to the
bathroom.   Anyway, she told me to open the door and step back.
Puzzled, I did as I was told and her remote control truck came out of
the bathroom into the hallway. "Put a clean pair of undies on that for
me mom...I forgot to bring some in with me".  It was so funny!!  I
dropped a pair in the back and off went the truck with its important
cargo.  What a kid!

She has now just arrived back from Sunday school and it is time for
lunch.  Phew....I didn't mean to take up quite that much time but the
last few days have been an eye opener for me and what the not too
distant future can hold for Erica.  I decided to go to the experts, the
ones who have 'been there', 'done that'.  Thanks for listening, and
listening, and listening.... :-)

Barb....Erica's mom

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