Particle Man


14. Also available in 15.

I super-hate diabetes these days. It’s because my kids are old, and I don’t know how to be.

Bubs turned fourteen today. No one here can be construed as a baby or little kid, or even a child at all. What we have here is teenagers.

Tab, meanwhile, is a diabetes baby. I don’t mean he’s babyish. He is a mature fifteen year old. But the d part is a baby.

And for legal sports reasons I don’t understand, lacrosse people can’t practice this early in March, so instead they play at Brown with no coach, for hours, and it doesn’t count as official practice. An out of range Dexcom and some boxes of Mike and Ikes offer medical expertise.

When Bubs was new to d, he was eight. It was normal for me to be where he was, in the role of “mother chatting with the other mothers at the playground” or as a “parent volunteer,” helping children poke straws into Capri Suns or locate a missing tap shoe. I was everywhere. Tab is OLD. I am nowhere.

Last week Tab was packing his lacrosse bag. I asked if he had everything he needed. He ran down a whole litany: here’s my helmet, don’t you like the decals?, these are my new gloves, I also have my old gloves, these are my elbow pads, do you see how this material is different, aren’t they nice?, I also have this pad, that pad… I felt weird clarifying that I didn’t worry at all about his bones being crushed. No. Hello? I only wanted to know: meter, phone, Dexcom calibrated and working, sugar.

On the way to today’s not-a-practice, we were trying to listen to Particle Man. {{{MWAHN MWAHN}}} went the Dexcom, alerting high. I fumbled with the phone screen—

TAB: It’s okay if I’m high–I’m only 170 and I’m about to play, so…

BIGFOOT: I know, I know. I just don’t want it to keep alerting during the song, and if I don’t open the app–arrgh–can you just open it, so it stops–

TAB: (Sincerely thinking of this for the first time, looking out the car window, pondering a new possibility of human existence. ) Do you think there has ever been someone who got so obsessed with their blood sugar that it was like, all they ever did? Watch it in their Dexcom and try to control it?

BFOOT: (Looks at him with an are you kidding? face)

TAB: No, I mean, like someone who only cared about their blood sugar and never did anything else?

BF: Um. (Points to self.)

PARTICLE MAN: Is she depressed or is she a mess? Does she feel to-tal-ly worth-less?

TAB: But we’re your kids. And you do other things, sometimes, I think.

BF: Hmm.

PARTICLE MAN: (Accordion solo.)

I have a terrible attitude. And I know it! And I know why! It’s because I hate this, and I hate it more each day. I worry we’re just not doing it right. At all. For Tab.

Example: so far, I don’t get up at night to correct Tab’s highs. This is because I feel shy groping around in his bed for a pinch of arm or leg or bum while he sleeps. So I wake up, and think about him being high, and I feel wretched.

If Bubs is high, I wake up, and grope around in his bed for his pump like I own the place. With Tab, all options seem impossible: the leaving him high as well as fumbling around in the dark with a needle. As well as waking him up to take care of it himself, which, I guess, is a thing people also do.

No good ending here.

Bigfoot say other thing

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