Different types of “NO”

September 25th, 2012 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I don’t know what the right answer is for this one.  I just want to make sure we are asking the question as often as we need to in our own lives.

It stems from a blog I read about a kid who wanted to do a new sport, and whose mom didn’t want him to do it because of the child’s diabetes.

It would be too much of a hassle.

The kid would have to carry stuff around.  Maybe wear a sensor.

The mom would have to get up earlier to get the kid ready with enough time to get him to practice.

And stay around for practice.

And it sounded to me like the mom was trying very very hard to get the kid to not want to do this sport.  It sounded like the mom didn’t want the kid to do it because of his diabetes.  It sounded like the mom was pointing out the kid’s diabetes to him. (He probably wanted to forget, but did the mom really honestly think he did forget he has diabetes?)

Reading it reminded me of the numerous times I asked my parents for a dog.

Except we never did get a dog, and I learned it was really because my parents didn’t want a dog—it didn’t have much at all to do with me or what I wanted! (Again: not saying appropriate here or not; just mentioning it.)

And our family was fine.  And I’ve never forgiven them for not letting me love a dog of my own.  (And I don’t think I have to!  Scarred for life; I’m telling you. Life.)

But the big difference I see between getting a dog and starting a new adventure?  It’s that the kid should try new things—that’s what growing up is all about.  The parents are supposed to facilitate that growth—aren’t they?

The mom mentioned in her blog that she couldn’t just let the kid go off and do the sport.  The mom felt she needed to be there.  Every practice.

Which to me is gearing up for the kid to hate their diabetes.  And hate the mom.  And I foresee a huge mess of problems down a messy tangled path that leads to a heck of a lot of him not taking care of himself.

I don’t think the mom replied: okay; let’s think about how we can get you safe so I’m okay while you’re trying the sport and having fun.  Let’s make it happen with a little extra thought and planning.  I want you to try what you want to tryI want you to learn what you need for this sport and the next sport and the next and the whole entire lifetime ahead of you that you face with diabetes and probably/maybe/hopefully/definitely without me at every practice.

Because this is your life, and I want you to be unafraid and never feel inhibited by your diabetes.  It isn’t something I want you to hate.


I felt I should write about it here because I didn’t get the sense from reading that blog that the mom realized maybe what she was teaching her kid.  And I’ve never met either of them, but I hate that anyone with diabetes feels they can’t do something they want to do.  I don’t like the fear or the resentment.

So I need us to keep asking what, really, are we saying “no” to?

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