Before your brother was born, your dad and I led very similar lives. We met in college and each started working with an accounting firm after we graduated. We spent years working long hours and advancing our careers.
Then Colin was born.
Dad continued to work, and I spent my days with Colin. Then you and Colin. Then you, Colin and Lila.
That’s what you’ve always known. You’ve always known me to be the anchor at home because Dad’s schedule is unpredictable. It isn’t unusual for Dad not to know where in the country he will be two days before he needs to be there.
Dad’s here helping in the house a lot. He coaches all your sports. He cooks many meals, he reads with you guys, plays games and all that other stuff. But he’s also got a demanding job that means there are lots of nights with just the four of us at dinner and many mornings where it’s just the four of us getting ready for our days.
There are many things that you, Colin and Lila do primarily with me since I’m the one who is always here. One of those things is managing your diabetes. Whether it’s just deciding on what to do with a blood sugar or prepping your gear each day or managing things at school, it’s mostly just you and me. Dad helps here and there, but you and I are the team when it comes to diabetes.
There is something that I need you to know, Caleb. Your dad has always been there for you to support you and whatever has come your way because of diabetes. Always.
He was the one doing most of the overnight checks in the early weeks. He gave you as many shots as I did when you were first diagnosed. It was a challenging time for all of us. So much had changed and none of us knew where we fit in this new normal we were trying to create. The distinction in our roles in your diabetes care developed over time out of necessity. I was here at home all the time and Dad was not. It’s just that simple.
What I need you to know, Caleb, is that when times became very challenging for us relative to diabetes when you were nine, your dad was there fighting for you as fiercely as I have ever seen him fight for anything. He spent countless hours working to protect you, despite the demands of his job. Nothing was more important to him. Things were hard for us, Caleb. But your dad remained steadfast in his defense of you. I could not have gotten through that time without him and his focus and determination to care for you. You, Colin and Lila mean more to him than anything else in this world. If he could move heaven and earth to protect you, he would.
When you grow up, you will likely look back on your childhood and think of me as the person who cared for your diabetes. For the most part I did. But what I need you to know, Caleb, is that Dad was always there too.