As I edited this post, I realized that I had written a similar draft that was in queue just waiting for me to hit publish. If you haven’t already done so, read False Hopes and Blame.
My daughter and I were watching some of the video submissions for the Lenny the Lion contest. In one of the videos, a kid says something like:
One day there will be a cure, but until then I can use my insulin pump to make diabetes easier.
My daughter looks at me with big eyes:
What? There’ll be a cure one day? I don’t want to have diabetes; I want to be a normal kid!
I told her that maybe there would be a cure in five or ten years or sometime in her lifetime, but not any time soon. She said that maybe it will be in only one year.
I know that some parents are very focused on finding a cure and I have heard countless kids mention finding a cure some day. That’s all well and good, but the reality, the reality that we live every single day, is that there is not a cure in the immediate future.
My husband and I have chosen not to give our child false hope for a cure. Why set her up for disappoint or make her think that having diabetes is a temporary condition?
Why not focus on the here and now with a positive attitude doing the best we can with the resources available now.
To me, telling my child that there will be a cure is akin to saying that she is somehow deficient as she is now. I don’t want her to think that she is less than whole. Don’t children have enough esteem issues as it is? Don’t they have a heavy enough burden on their shoulders?
I say let parents worry about funding and research. I say let parents hope and dream for medical advances. I say let parents worry about the details. I say let kids be kids and live in the moment. Live in the here and now. Just live.
She said that a cure would make her “normal.”
She is normal despite her diabetes.
She is normal.