Grasshopper asked me again if he could ride the bus when he starts first grade. He was prepared with reasons and explanations how it would benefit ME.
Cue all the smiles, and all the heartache. I’m surprised he didn’t have charts and graphs ready. He proposed I walk him to the bus in the morning, and then I could get things done around the house while Sunshine played. She solemnly nodded. And then in the afternoon I could start making dinner while he rode back on the bus. Or while Daddy made dinner. And Sunshine could play. More nodding from her. Grasshopper is working this angle HARD. Le sigh.
I told him that we don’t feel comfortable with him riding the bus until he can manage T1D on his own. It is the truth but I’m feeling awful because this is the first situation we have encountered in which I am essentially telling him “we aren’t going to do XYZ right now because of type 1 diabetes.”
There is very little that he won’t be able to do. He won’t be able to go into the Armed Forces. However, I know of people with T1D who are professional race car drivers in NASCAR Xfinity and IndyCar, who have competed in the Olympics, play professional football, baseball, soccer, who are internationally known heartthrob singers, who are mountain climbing photographers, who surf, who are pilots and newscasters, meteorologists, authors, police, firefighters, doctors, and people who take long solo boat excursions then write books about their adventures.
There won’t be an aide to ride with Grasshopper in the bus, so he would need to check his finger and eat a snack if his blood sugar is too low. A severe low blood sugar is a life threatening event. He can check his finger already but he still needs adult guidance in deciding how much fast acting sugar he needs for a low. I can’t rely on a bus driver to do that because the bus driver already has a very important job. Driving the bus.
Grasshopper took all of this in stride, as usual, listening intently to the new challenge in front of him. It breaks my heart because a six year old boy shouldn’t have to concern himself with being his own conscious pancreas in order to safely ride the bus to first grade. But this is our reality. I told him that this was another reason to work on learning how to manage type 1 diabetes. This is not, “You will never ride the bus,” but rather, “The bus is a new goal to be achieved.”