The morning forecast said flurries by noon, maybe an inch of snow. I live in the South so we knew that meant school would be getting out early. I put a sports drink and a protein bar in a brown paper lunch bag. “This is your emergency snow-day snack-pack, dude.” I reminded Benny that early dismissal means coming home on the bus, just as usual. I wasn’t anticipating trouble (we live less than ten minutes from the school) but I wanted him to know he had supplies in case traffic was crazy or the bus was late.
“So if you go low on the bus, you have lots of carbs here. Drink the sports drink first.”
“But mom,” he said, “Can you call school and tell them? Because you’re not supposed to eat on the bus.”
Sigh. We’ve talked about this. With diabetes, you eat when you need to. The bus driver knows this.
“Remember just last week when you were running late? You’d already bolused for breakfast but you hadn’t finished and you took your (dry) cereal in a bag onto the bus? And it was fine?”
“Yeah, but could you write it down, so everyone knows?”
That’s when we sat down and talked. About the 504 plan, how it's written down for everyone to see at school. How I'll always have his back, so he shouldn’t worry about standing up and speaking out if he needs help. How he can tell the bus driver to call me or even yell medical emergency if he needs to.
I reminded him that he always carries juice or Quick Sticks glucose in his meter pouch (duh, mom).
We’ve had this talk several times since Kindergarten and I expect to keep talking about it until he’s driving (yikes). How he feels and acts at 9 is not the same as how he was at 6 or how he’ll be at 12. These conversations need to continue and change with his age. Of course, I haven’t changed a bit. Right?
Benny has always taken the bus and – knock on wood – we haven’t had any issues. He likes to follow the rules, he doesn't want to get in trouble and he doesn't want to use diabetes as an excuse. This drives me a little crazy--just drink the juice box if you need it! But it mostly makes me very proud of my son who doesn’t want special treatment.
As predicted, the snow fell and schools dismissed early. The bus pulled up and snow-crazy southern kids poured off. The snow-day snack-pack went back in the cabinet, untouched, ready for next time.