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Happy Birthday, Little Man!

You’re turning three, little man, and you have already spent more than half your life dealing with the risky business of T1 with as much panache as a toddler can muster. (Is there a word for crossing the nadir of living with T1 longer than without it? The Pancreatic Dixon line? The Latitude of Langerhans?)

You’ve got it down – the sleeping through finger sticks at night, holding still while we fiddle with your pump (not easy for a boy who jogs while brushing his teeth and appears as a blur in most pictures), and pop in new sets (well, hey – you hold still more frequently now). You giggle when we put a cotton ball in your diaper.

Typical toddler, you’ve found ways to turn T1 to your advantage. “Mom, the Beep Beep says I need juice,” you lie, waving the Dex (you don’t yet know enough about numbers to fake them, but that will come!). Bed time rolls around, and even though blood sugar’s fine, you declare, “My bandaid’s [set] not working – change it!”, hoping to stay up late, have a few M&Ms, and watch a bit of TV. (Seriously – a needle poke is worth all that?) You haven’t figured out the nuclear option yet – refusing to eat after a hefty pre-bolus – but I’m sure we’ll get there.

What amazes me most of all is that, despite the blood sugar roller coaster T1 has put you on, you’re still a sunny, good-natured kid. When blood sugar swings high, way beyond anything I’ve experienced post-Thanksgiving dinner, or way below a missed lunch that turns me into something out of 28 Days Later, you get a little glaze-eyed but keep right on burying trucks in the sand or climbing up the slide for the 20th time. Like your dad, you love people and sometimes seem determined to invite the whole world into our house (including the outdoorsmen and pharmaceutical entrepreneurs working the street corners of our ‘hood), which is going to help you share the burden of this crazy disease. Having a touch of your mom’s OCD probably doesn’t hurt, either.

I’ve always been a bit in awe of kids who, despite whatever physical challenge or trauma in their lives, are tough enough to remain sunny-side up. I never thought I’d have the privilege of being parent to one.

Happy birthday, little man!

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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love your descriptions of him. Fun, even when describing the real life world of d. Great writing. I enjoyed reading. Happy Birthday to him. Three is beautiful.

    August 19, 2011
  2. Courtney #

    Happy Birthday Luke! Hope you have 100 more!!!!! Enjoy your day! The Merideth Family

    August 19, 2011
  3. I am Muner (Mun as in rhymes with bun; that’s how its pronounced: like “bunner”; but Muner).
    Muner is Lukas’ name for me. He hears his ever-forever loving Nanny, Anna ~ who is also my beautiful daughter, call me Mother or Mother Bird. Lukas just can’t pronounce “mother”, so it comes out as “Muner”.

    The etymology of the term comes from Anna’s favorite childhood storybook, Are You My Mother? When Anna turned 18 or 19, one of her uncles teased her for still calling me “Mother”. But Anna wasn’t ready to switch from Mommy to Mom, so she opted for Mother Bird, or Mother.

    Fast forward to the present. Anna has been Lukas’ Super Nanny for nearly one year. She had postponed her start-date for a couple of weeks because of a car accident she & I were in. It has been a most powerful year for both of us. A year of healing, growing and learning; a year of watching a new little puppy, Sam, grow from 3.1lbs to 12, and become a real buddy to little Luke. Lukas has also very much been a part of our healing and strengthening of spirit.

    During this year, Anna has been quite masterful with Lukas ~ I know, I sound like a bragging mom; but just ask Kristin and Erik. I’m confident they’ll back me up. Lukas has transformed us, infused us with with love and laughter, and, not to exaggerate, likely a thousand pictures. Family and friends say that 99% of our Facebook postings are pictures of Sammy and Lukas. I nearly titled this “Lukas & Sam”.

    Yes every day is not perfect; none of us are. Recently Lukas has discovered the power of “talking back”. Most of the time we have to turn our faces away so that Lukie doesn’t see us trying to contain our laughter. I’ve not been with Lukie that much. I’ve not tagged along to the zoo, aquarium, pre-school, etc., although I did sneak a peek at a swim lesson this summer. But I have had the pleasure of many lunches, a few strolls around “The Train Park”, and waterings of my garden. When Lukas asks to take a flower home for his Mama, its about the sweetest thing ever.

    Lukas and Anna have ridden my school bus, meeting kindergartners and special needs high school students. Those days are really fun; he loves the bus. The days I Iove the most, the ones I treasure the most, are when Luke comes looking for me, calling “Muner, where are you?” And when he says, “Um, Muner, can I please _____?” Or, “thank you, Muner.” I can’t imagine anything but melting away completely if I should ever hear him utter, I love you, Muner. On that day I’ll try and see if I can get the moon down for him.

    And although Anna will be leaving for Israel in October, I plan on babysitting when possible, This is a little person we simply need to remain connected to ~ along with Kristin & Erik, of course. Lukas has shown such unconditional love, and demonstrated such trust, that our bond is “just one of those things” wise people don’t say goodbye to.

    Never let your t-1 define you; you define it by virtue of your amazing resilience, strength, and joy filled love of life.
    Happy, Healthy, Birthday, Dearest Lukie.

    Forever & Always,
    Muner
    (aka, Dana Idor Levy, Anna’s Mother Bird)

    August 20, 2011
  4. Julie Devine #

    I love this celebratory post, and the great photos! Congratulations on 3, Luke! See you guys later today.

    August 20, 2011
  5. Yay, Happy Birthday Buddy!!!

    August 22, 2011
  6. Lucky guy to get so many birthday wishes! Was thinking of all our kiddos while writing…

    August 22, 2011
  7. aw, man, what a beautiful post! i’m a sucker for the sentimental mixed in with the hilarious (latitude of langerhans! 28 days later! pharmaceutical entrepreneurs!) happy birthday luke! and many many more! 🙂

    August 26, 2011

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