Well, today was the big day for Nikki. One of her favorite days of the year….the first day of diabetes camp. This is the 4th year she’s attended and each year her excitement leading up to camp grows by leaps and bounds.
I noticed a couple of things this year; the first is that this year Nikki was reuniting with friends from previous years. After 4 years of camp she has her own special group of ‘camp friends’ and they were very happy to see each other. The other thing I noticed was the campers themselves. What I mean is this; in a typical setting it takes kids a day or so to warm up to each other – not so with D kids at D camp. When I left, all the girls were huddled together around one lower bunk talking as if they had been best friends for years. Some of them knew each other, but a lot of them were new to camp – D has a way of bonding them.
Of course, Nikki is blessed to be at camp with one of her closest friends, Mikayla. This is a big year for them because they will also be attending the same middle school and they will be on the same team. That is a priceless support system for them both. In fact, tomorrow is what we call “Camp Thoroughbred”. It’s a day long camp for incoming 6th graders; the purpose is to help them become familiar with their new surroundings. Since a huge factor in D blood sugar highs and lows is stress/anxiety Mikayla’s mom and myself feel that Camp Thoroughbred is a an absolute necessity for both our girls. Sooooo, Mindy (M’s mom) is picking the girls up in the morning and taking them to the school and I’ll pick them up in the afternoon and return them to D camp – about an hour away. Nikki and Mikayla both informed me just as I was leaving that they HAD to be back to camp by 4:00 tomorrow because they are going horseback riding at 4:30 and they DO NOT want to miss it.
A final observation from today is how much Nikki did not mind that we were leaving; in fact I’m not sure she noticed. The responsible parent in me relishes her independence; self-confidence and how comfortable she is at camp – the stingy, clingy parent in me wishes she was a tad sorrier to see me go. Actually, I’m kidding. It does my heart good to see the young woman she’s becoming.