Lauren’s birthday falls right around the first day of school each year (she was born on Labor Day, which was fun to say that day. “It’s LABOR day!”) When she was at that party age, we always had the birthday party before the start of school, and then dug into the frenzy of getting two kids into their Trapper Keepers, new shoes, outfits, classes and more.
So one year, I was at the bus stop with all the other moms and dads waiting for that first day of school bus to come. Lauren kept looking at me funny, expecting something.
Finally, the bus came and as she stepped up on the first step, she turned, paused and said, “Mom: are you forgetting anything? Anything??” I quickly did a list check in my head. Lunch? Check. Snack? Check? Glucose meter? Check. Supplies to nurse? Did that yesterday.
“Ummm, I think you’re all set, honey. And I’m right up the road if you are not,” I said with a wave.
“Mom.” (the other kids in line were getting annoyed now. “Don’t you want to say ‘Happy Birthday’ to me?”
OMG. I forgot it was my little girl’s birthday. Okay – so cut me some slack. We had a huge birthday party. She got great gifts. Everyone came. But this day was the day.
So needless to say, I’m not the best at remembering dates (sorry about Kelly’s grad party, Patty. I swear to GOD I was just sitting at home. Ugh!)
So it comes as no surprise that I would completely lose track of the fact that this blog, my newest baby, turned one a few weeks ago. It’s time to celebrate. My little blog, something a bit unplanned and something I wasn’t 100 percent sure I wanted to raise, has truly grown to be a delight in my life.
Because I kind of really didn’t want to blog. First, I’m an old-school journalist (like, the kind who went to college for it and worked in a newsroom with exhausted, screaming people and crunched deadlines and wore cool dresses like Rosalind Russell in “His Girl Friday.”
Okay, maybe not the last part, but the rest of it is true. The idea of just sitting in my house, spouting things off, not having an editorial team rip the crap out of it and have it come out much better kind of annoyed me. And one thing was for sure: I was never, ever going to want to make any kind of money off this.
But the reality was simple: people were communicating, learning and advocating via blogs. If I wanted to stay relevant in the diabetes world, I had no choice. And so, despite diabetes was born.
We’ve done a lot in this first year, and I’m proud of that. My readership grew quickly and continues to grow. I like to think I listen to commenters and those who suggest things. I like to think I’m helping in some tiny way.
Some of the things we’ve accomplished include:
*Changing the heart and voting pattern of a key U.S. Senator. Sen. Scott Brown jumped into office as one of the most recognized Senators in the nation thanks to his well-covered campaign and the fact that he was an R in a long time D seat. So when he didn’t seem to care about Type 1 diabetes, this blog asked him to think otherwise. And he responded. I’m proud to say I have a great relationship with the Senator and his team now (I’ll be seeing them in two weeks in DC), and his voting record on diabetes issues is one we can all feel wonderful about. It was cool to help make that happen.
*Helped the Mile 23 project become better known. Michelle, the creator of the program in the memory of her awesome son Jesse, is a PR machine anyway. But the blog I wrote on it was read by tens of thousands and I hope that all of them have embraced the Mile 23 project. Reread the blog so you can take part too.
*Made friends with other folks in the diabetes world, and not just bloggers. There are folks out there in the world who read regularly and comment regularly whom I now think of as true friends. What a blessing it is to have friends in this crazy diabetes world, and I thank each of you for being one for me.
*Made money. Okay, I said I’d never make money with this, but by that I meant for me. Thanks to this blog, I was able to launch my first-ever JDRF Ride to Cure Effort in a big way, and thanks to folks who read this, I’ve raised over $12,000 in just a few weeks with months to go before the ride. Almost every day I see some kind of donation come in from a reader with a note that just says “Thanks for sharing this life with us.” That blows me away. So I guess this blog is helping make money for ALL of us – to fund research for better treatments and a cure for diabetes. By the way it’s not too late to click and give!
*Made me think deeper about life with diabetes around, and what it means to me, my daughter with diabetes and all of us. Lauren is away at college so it’s easy for me to slip into a bit of denial from time to time now. Having the responsibility of keeping this blog alive means I have to think long and hard about it all, and that’s a blessing. Study and contemplation only better a person, and I want to be a better person for Lauren, for myself and for the diabetes world. I’m lucky to have this avenue to move toward that.
So here goes year two. I do have goals. I want to me relevant. I want to talk about products (my first product review was this week. Hope you liked it!) I want to hear from even more of you. So as a present to my blog for the birthday that I forgot (!!) I ask you to consider sharing it with a friend or two or three this week. Bring in some new blood. Let’s grow our world better.
And let’s keep on laughing, sharing, helping, and living amazing lives, despite diabetes.