A few months ago, my husband and I had a very rare occurrence: We woke up on a Saturday morning and said to each other, "What do you want to do today?" We had absolutely nothing on the calendar, which hardly ever happens! It was such a blissful feeling that we could truly do anything we wanted, so we batted around a bunch of ideas and then I said, "Let's go on a bike ride!"
Now this might not seem like such an odd thing, but it was for us, because neither one of us owned bikes. All of our kids have bikes, and they love to ride them around the cul-de-sac, but we had yet to invest in them for ourselves.
To my great delight, my husband replied, "OK!" We piled all the kids in the car and drove over to the bike shop. Before we knew it, we had two beautiful new bikes ready to go! My mom was kind enough to watch our little ones, and we set off on our ride! I had no idea how many awesome trails there were practically right outside my front door. The ride we went on was a seven-mile trail that went down to the beach. The scenery was beautiful, and the feeling of being on a bike again was exhilarating!
Ever since then, we have tried to make it a goal to go bike-riding on a regular basis. Sometimes we'll go as a family, and sometimes we'll get a "date night" babysitter, and Evan and I will go on a more challenging ride. Evan definitely wins the prize though -- he has truly embraced mountain biking as part of his exercise regimen! In fact, there is rarely a day that goes by that he doesn't take his bike out for a ride. He really is an inspiration for me and the kids!
When I think about all the things we can do with our spare time, the list is endless. The things we do with our time make us who we are and define what is important to us. What I do also sends a direct message to my kids. If they see me reading a lot, they'll know that's important to me. If they see me exercise and eat right, they'll know that healthy habits are important to me. The choice is mine: Are my kids going to remember that I sat in front of the TV every night, or are they going to remember that Mom and Dad always loved to get outdoors and have a healthy lifestyle?
Hopefully, the good things they see will help them to have a desire to get out and play, instead of sitting in front of the television. Our efforts are already bearing fruit -- whenever Evan gets his bike out of the garage, the kids all want to go on a ride too!
About the author: My name is Kim. My daughter Kaitlyn (the third of our five children) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just a few years after my nephew James was diagnosed with the same disease. I'm excited to pair up with my sister-in-law, Jen, to share our story with you!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.