If the event that I am about to describe had happened before I gave that talk, I think it would have been a very different talk. My daughter and myself had a clash of needs that prompted me to wonder how our relationship would take the combination of my diabetes and her teen years.
My daughter is 11 and is my eldest and therefore "breaks me in as a parent". She is a Tween! Deep breath!
While we were on holidays, actually, we were heading home the next day, so maybe we were ready to be home and approximately 16 hours travelling stood in our way?
We went shopping in the Mall of America, THE largest shopping mall in America. So large it has an amusement park in the middle.
We had to go shopping as we absolutely had to buy formal shoes for my daughter who has a large foot for her 11 years and living on the west coast of Ireland doesn't give you the variety and options that a large, child's foot, or her mother would like.
*Note to self never leave shopping until the end of a holiday!
The afternoon was not going well. We had said good bye to the lake and to our family. We were tired from all the activities during our holiday and we were a little sad.
However, we had successfully chosen her shoes and she wanted to look at sandals next which I deemed, in my own head, a purchase of opportunity and not of necessity. I needed a new pair of runners.
I was feeling tired though, so I intended to zoom around quickly. Feeling tired might also mean that maybe I was having a hypo? My daughter came up to me and said "I don't know where Dad is", I suggested that she sit in the comfy armchairs while she waited for me.
She came up to me again and I really don't know what transpired next thing I know, she's sitting on the ground at the end of the aisle, scowling and about to cry.
I remember thinking; She needs me but I can't help her right now I need to help myself. I sat too. I ate a pear while sitting, to be safe. I needed help! Call for back up! No answer. Eat while thinking. Stand up for inspiration. There's back up - call out to him.
It was the first time I felt her needs conflicted with mine. It doesn't matter much if a small baby has to wait a minute or two for their next feed while you test blood glucose levels. You can kind-of plan for it. But, how can I plan for unexpected, unpredictable tween outbursts.
I realised that she is at the age now where she will start to realise that my diabetes has an impact on her. Will she resent me for it? I hope not!