Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ramblings about Becoming Independent

Many of you know that I homeschooled Matthew for several years. It started because of Kevin's work schedule and then....it just worked for us. Matthew and I both loved it.

But I felt like it was time to move on. There were other things that I wanted Matthew to learn....taking instruction from others.....being responsible to do the work....those sorts of things.

Well, we were really blessed to enroll him in a school that is sort of "between" regular school and homeschool. It's a university model school and it basically just like college. You can choose what courses you take. Matthew only took 2 last year. He will be enrolled in 4 classes this year. Elementary goes on T/Th and the upper grades are M/W/F. A full day of homework is given for those days out of school. We absolutely love it.

One reason I loved homeschooling was because I had more time with Matthew. We could do all sorts of fun things together. And yes, I could shelter him a bit and protect that innocence that is lost so early these days.

But school has been fabulous for both of us. There has been a huge burden lifted from my shoulders since I don't have to do all the planning. One of the biggest benefits I could see for Matthew was that he was becoming more independent.

Then diabetes came into our lives. Suddenly I was back with him at school every day for shots. (There is no nurse at our campus, though there is a fabulous d-mom there willing to do anything for Matthew! He doesn't want her doing shots yet. Of course....now he can do his own, so perhaps she can just supervise.)

But I find myself thinking so much about developing his independence. Part of me still sees that young, adventurous boy that I want to keep with me. The other part of me sees a little man who has diabetes and needs to learn how to take care of himself. I think that training has to start now.

I keep telling Matthew that I'm not going to force him to count every carb right now----I want him to enjoy being a kid! But there are little ways that I can encourage him to become more independent. (In a past post, I already talked about my summer goals for him.)

I think diabetes camp helped Matthew gain a bit of independence. And folks, it was hard for me, but good for him. Easy choice.

((Sidenote: Thank you Mom and Dad, for always pushing and encouraging me when it was probably difficult for you. It made me a stronger person and yet, I've learned to rely on God. I know with His help, I am fully capable caring for a child with diabetes. Thank you for always being there for me!))

God is really helping me see the big picture and see it so clearly: It's about taking care of Matthew right now, but training him to take care of himself in the future.

I pray God will guide me every step of the way.


Meri said...

God will guide you. You are doing a great job. You are so right, it is a fine balance trying to take the worry of this off of their little shoulders, but at the same time trying to give them the tools they need to be independent.

Unknown said...

Keep up the GREAT work. Look how far he came just at summer camp last week! AMAZING. I am always trying to teach Joe and let him take over as much of his "D" care as he wants. When I am not around he does it all...but if I am around, I think he just wants to be a "kid"...so I let him. I get it.


phonelady said...

yes god will guide you and give you what you need to keep going and matthew will become stronger because of it .

Lora said...

Justin is 9 also so I know what you mean about wanting them to be learn, but still be a kid. It's a thin line that I've been tight-roping for a while. It's great that Matthew will give his own shots. Justin refused. Not for lack of trying though :)
So just a couple weeks ago we started pumping. Justin is so interested in learning how to do it homself and I am happy for him. A litte scared, but happy. Because he needs the freedom to go to a friends house or a birthday party without me hovering over (okay... eventually he will need the freedon).

Heidi =) said...

I totally understand the balance as I struggle with it every day. Sometimes D is overwhelming for me as an adult, I can't imagine what it's like for a kid to have to manage on their own. I want Bekah to be a kid and enjoy her life but I can't deny that D has forced her to grow up a little faster that either she or I were ready for. Bekah likes to do tasks like getting the pen ready for a shot. She puts the needle on, primes it and dials up the number of units that she needs. I'm still not convinced that I am sending her to public school next year. Summer just got started here so I have a few weeks to decide. Great post Tracy, I'm right there with you relying on God for His wisdom as to how much to let go and how much to shelter.

Amanda said...

I am constantly asking my mom and my husband what they think about finding that balance - always afraid I am being too overprotective. It is so hard to find!
You mentioned teaching Matthew about carb counting. I did see these cool magnets that you can hang on the fridge that had a picture of a food and how many carbs were in a serving. Maybe if you stuck those on the fridge it would at least start exposing him to it without much effort...they were at Target near the pharmacy with the diabetes supplies.