March 8th is International Women’s Day. It is also the day that I became a mother to three daughters. Small was born exactly 10 years ago on a chilly Wednesday evening on the sofa I’m sitting on now to write this post. Her sisters were fast asleep upstairs, and the only people to greet her upon arrival were myself, her Daddy and a midwife. Just.
Since that day, the power of the female spirit has continued to be exceptionally strong and fierce within these walls. Poor Mr Understudy must now contend with four opinionated and feisty females in the house, where the three girls proffer considered opinions on every tiny minutia of our lives.
The three siblings fight together, laugh together, cry together and celebrate one another’s triumphs together. Often people wonder how Big and Small feel about the extra attention T1D demands in our lives and therefor the extra attention Pumplette has. I can, in all honesty say, neither have ever expressed feelings of resentment towards this necessity. In fact, Big recently said to me that it makes her love both her sisters more. For she appreciates how fragile and precious our lives are.
My daughters’ childhoods will always have been shaped by Pumplette’s diagnosis. They couldn’t not be. However I refuse to let it be a negative experience in their lives. Children are extraordinarily good at adapting to any given situation they find themselves thrown into. It is part and parcel of their inbuilt survival mechanism. This is my daughters’ normal, a childhood that includes hospital visits for a sister who occasionally needs them to gopher lucozade to her hypo state, a childhood that includes medical paraphernalia which pierce and wound, a childhood that has taught them the endless reserves of inner strength they each posses. Strength which will see them through any trial or tribulation life may throw at them in the future. Confidence to never be silenced or patronised and to always know their own minds and respect others’ opinions and values. I will never regret or be sad that they learnt these lessons in their childhood.
To me, these are the marks of truly remarkable women. And I am so proud & privileged to be the mother of this band of girls.