As we walked out the front doors of Dell Children’s Medical Center–cart, balloons, and all, it felt so much like deja vu. We were four days short of exactly five years since the last time we had walked out of a hospital in very much the same way. We were being entrusted with a tiny being who needed us (and now insulin, too). We were walking out into uncharted territory.
We headed home that Thursday via the Lego Store (anyone surprised) and began to settle into our real life. It looked a lot like our old life, but with a few pokes and prods in between. Once the boy was in bed, I headed back to town to scour every label on every grocery store aisle. I needed to know more about which foods would work as free snacks (based on the carb counts) and which wouldn’t. I needed to know how many M&Ms he could have without an injection. I wanted all the information I could possibly absorb.
Friday we laid low. We didn’t rock the boat. We mastered injections without Mr. Gray being home.
Saturday, though, it was birthday day. Our boy turned five, and we did exactly what the doctors told us to do: we let him celebrate, we let him be five. We enjoyed. We laughed. We went to his soccer game, let him pick Pizza Hut for lunch, we cheered for the Aggies, blew out candles, and ate cupcakes. We did it. Real life. We had a few snags; we made a few phone calls to the weekend doctor line, but we did it. We survived the first day back to reality. And, with that, we knew we would survive every day after that, too.