I met Maggie during one of her most vulnerable moments, as she sat in Children’s Hospital, 8 months pregnant with her 4 year old son, Angus laying in a bed, hooked up to IVs, needles being poked into his fingers, with the new diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes. My heart ached over what she was going through, I sent her my obsessive list of what she should get for home when she was discharged. Henry started to make videos for Angus to help him through some dark times. Henry had only been diagnosed about a year earlier.
Then Buzzfeed picked up the article, Mom.me among others. We had no idea that so many people would be captivated by our little boys sending each other messages. These kids HAD to meet. They just had to. But how? Henry LOVES water, in fact, water is the second fastest way to lower his blood sugar. Swimming, waves, water is his miracle in combination with the number 1 medical marvel, INSULIN (please don’t tell me that he just needs to drink Okra water…seriously don’t, I will crush your face in if you even whisper to me that Okra will cure him). Three words came to mind Great Wolf Lodge. And I thought, hey, I met Maggie online while she was going through something traumatic, why not meet for the first time wearing bathing suits? That’s also pretty traumatic, me at my most vulnerable. Haha.
We were in contact with Great Wolf Lodge, they were so sweet and interested in the story between Henry and Angus and offered to host the meet up.
They even put up in two suites across the hall from each other, though we should have just built a gerbil tunnel because they were crossing the hall so often, or waiting outside each other’s door every other hour.
So we decided to slowly torture all of our kids with THE BIG SURPRISE (and our instagram followers) over the course of 2 months, offering weird random clues, like “long hallways, magic wands, water, lots of pillows, pretend animals….” Ry, figured it out way before anyone else but she pinky swore that she would not tell a soul and she didn’t (this girl is prime best friend material, seriously). The last few days, we let the secret spill and the kids were LOSING IT. Why didn’t we tell them before? Because they were losing it for three days prior, imagine two months? The staff at Great Wolf Lodge was amazing, the lifeguards understood that we had to store our kits under their stations, the servers were kind to bring our kids food quickly, because it was later than normal when we ate dinner and the boys were crashing. We could not have asked for a smoother trip.
I joked to Maggie that it was like we had been online dating and were going to meet in real life, that Henry was actually a 400 lb Russian dude in mayonnaise soaked sweatpants. Close, but not really. The boys were a teeny bit shy, Henry greeted Angus in his speedo. I’m fairly certain that Isla will take down anyone who tries to date Henry in the future, she barreled into our room more than once demanding to know where he was, convinced that I was hiding him, when he was already down at the pool with Thor.
At dinner, we tested blood sugar and gave I even gave insulin to Angus who was sitting right next to me, the way he looked at me, for the brief injection was along the lines of “someone else knows how to do this!” and I wont forget that look he gave me.
Our families exchanged tips and tricks, compared foods that cause blood sugar spikes, and breathlessly chased our shared brood from pool to arcade to storytime and finally to bed.
The experience was unforgettable for the kids. Days later, Henry still hasn’t taken off his Great Wolf Lodge bracelet.
We can’t wait for the next time the two boys with the blood sugar bromance get together, and hopefully what started at Great Wolf Lodge will be a tradition that they hold for the rest of their lives. Also, are you jealous of Henry’s bathing suit?
If you want to follow the insta-pal relationship between Henry and Angus (and sometimes the sisters get int here) just search for #henryandangus. The boys love to hear from other kids with T1 as well! So send them a message and who knows? They might even respond!