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Diabetes Diaries :: Kindergarten Prep

With the kids starting school – both kids! I know I should be an old pro.
But the truth is, 5 years old and the first day of kindergarten looks so different on Madelyn than it did on Landen. I am in uncharted territory here, as it’s just not as simple as it was with him.

We’re navigating through the world of 504 plans and meetings with school administrators. There have been added phone calls to obtain extra sets of supplies for Madelyn. There’s been even more paperwork to fill out, an increased volume of communication had with the district, and a much larger lunch box for her since she will need to carry more food with her throughout the school day. That has been the biggest reminder of this difference – that Madelyn’s lunch box is bigger than her brother’s.

With Landen, I remember I had to wear sunglasses indoors as I walked him to his kindergarten class, thanks to the bittersweet nostalgia of how fast time passes. I was so proud of this kid, and until he released my hand to sit at his desk, he was still my baby. In the 10 steps he took to his seat, he transformed into a student. A big boy. That is the common experience had by mothers – it’s not that they’re sad, it’s that they watched this transformation with their own eyes as the past 5 years simultaneously flashed before them.

I don’t know what to expect with Madelyn. I do know she is excited. I think I’ve done a good job in hiding my apprehension during this process, because I want her to be excited. And it was a joy watching her pick out her school supplies, a hilarious collection of gender neutral themes like her flower backpack, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle folder, Wonder Woman lunch box and Blaze & the Monster Machines drink thermos. Landen will never admit to it, but as he advised from his own experience what will make kindergarten a success, it was obvious he was looking forward to having her at school with him.

Today, I’ll take the kids to their respective assessments with their teachers. I’ll also be meeting with officials to put our plan in place with Madelyn. I know she is not the first student to attend public school with Type 1 Diabetes, but she is my first. And as her mother, my main goal is to ensure she has the same opportunity as the other kids.

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