Kids are great! No, seriously… they’re totally awesome (as I rock gently while downing yet another shot of whisky). All jokes aside, children genuinely are a wonder. They are the only way to indirectly ensure one’s immortality, and they allow a brief glimpse into one’s past. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen my son Nathan, do something and think, “Wow, I used to be JUST like that!” And with the arrival of my second son, Alexander, I’m sure the comparisons will continue.
With another Halloween come and gone, I’m left remembering aspects of my childhood and how I dealt with them. I was faced with many dietary and health restrictions due to my Diabetes. Having been diagnosed at the age of four, I really never had the opportunity to go door-to-door like all the other kids. My mother had some friends who would provide things like raisins, apples and “sugar-free treats” (it wouldn’t be until decades later that I would discover how many carbs and how sugary all of those other treats actually were). But the prospect of a genuine “trick or treat” outing was nonexistent.
Enter: Nathan. It’s difficult for me to draw a line sometimes, because I realize and acknowledge that he isn’t limited by the same health restrictions that I was at his age. He turns into an absolute hell-spawn when he eats sugar, much like any child; but I can’t resist allowing him to indulge in the ways that I couldn’t. Maybe there’s a bit of indulgence on my part as well, since I get to experience it vicariously through his eyes. Such is parenthood.
Yesterday, my wife and I took Nathan to an artisan ice cream parlour. Clad in his Lightning McQueen costume, he was treated to a free ice cream of his choice. He chose triple chocolate brownie. That’s my boy! Tonight, he indulged in some jellybeans that were left over from last night’s trick or treaters. Although we normally suffer through the after-effects of the sugar in his system, it’s hard for me NOT to allow him the pleasure, since I never had that pleasure myself.
Sure, I can take insulin dosages necessary to enjoy things now, as an adult. But I can’t help but wonder how different my childhood would have been, had I not been limited and held back by Type 1 Diabetes. Luckily, Nathan doesn’t have that issue and can enjoy his snacks in the guilt-free way that any child should: by driving his parents nuts during the sugar rush! ☯