Why My Daughter’s Stick-Figure Drawing Brought Me to Tears


Just before Thanksgiving, the stars aligned and, just like eHarmony for the type 1 diabetes (T1D) world (dHarmony?), we met a sassy blogger online named Libby. A 20-something who also happens to be pancreatically-challenged, Libby asked if she could interview us for her blog, and we were pumped (pun totally intended).

I told my daughter, Isabella, that a new friend with T1D wanted to interview her, which set off a string of questions about who this mystery girl was, what kind of ice cream she likes and whether or not she’d seen “Frozen.” She was excited, and I was, too.

After our interview with Libby (which was chocked full of so much awesome that I’ll let you read it yourself), we decided we wanted to send her a thank you card and one of our fab “Inspired by Isabella” t-shirts. Of course, being 4 years old and looking for any excuse to get marker on my nice, Amish-made table channel her inner Warhol, Isabella said she wanted to make the card.

The card turned into half a dozen drawings and notes, dictated letter-by-letter by me, to our new friend, Libby.

“Does ‘Libby’ begin with an ‘L,’ mom?”

“Are there one or two ‘O’s in ‘love’?”

“How do you spell ‘best friend’?”

And that right there made my eyes start to leak.

Isabella brought me her stack of notes and drawings, and as I thumbed through them, I stopped at one. It was a drawing she’d made of her and her new BFF, surrounded by flowers and a rainbow, their names scribbled to indicate who was who.

libby

It was hard not to notice the numerous shapes Isabella had drawn up and down the two figures, seemingly randomly.

“I love this drawing, Isa. Can you tell me what these shapes are on you two?”

“Those are our sites… for our pumps and ‘cgms.’”

And I could feel my heart sink.

But then I noticed something else. Smiles. Both the stick figure image of Isabella on the paper and the pigtailed toddler standing in front of me had smiles spread across their faces.

And I knew.

I knew Isabella had found someone else she could draw who also had shapes running up and down them like a highway of reminders of this disease. She was smiling because she had found someone to look up to and to show her she shouldn’t be ashamed of these shapes. And, while her shapes will never define her, they are a part of her story.

Thank you, Libby, for helping Isabella embrace her shapes and for sharing her journey.

For all of February, The Mighty is asking its readers the following: Describe the moment a stranger — or someone you don’t know very well — showed you or a loved one incredible love. No gesture is too small! If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please  include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.

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