The DX regularly features The DX Diabetes Dish, a profile about life and life with diabetes. This month, we dish with well-known diabetes blogger, d-dad, and new author Scott Benner. His blog Arden’s Day is an especially popular part of the Diabetes Online Community. Now his award-winning book, Life is Short, Laundry is Eternal, gives fellow stay-at-home dads and caregiving parents a voice while letting folks who just want to peek into what it’s like to be on constant “dad duty” do just that.
Benner’s new book
What is your state of mind today?
I woke up surprised out of my sleep by a dream that a spider fell on my back. It jolted me. But it gave me a chance to reset [my daughter’s] glucose monitor early.
What three words would you use to describe who you are?
Dad. Lover. Writer.
How does diabetes affect your life as a dad?
It makes me more careful not to let diabetes affect my life as a dad.
What would you say to inspire other dads and moms?
There are little tiny things in our lives as a family that are so easily dismissible, but are in fact so important to notice. If you do take time to slow down and notice them, they are just great.
Benner and his children
What inspires you to do what you do?
I want to give my kids the best possible launch into life as I can. I want them to feel as confident and powerful and intelligent as they can in this world.
What do you appreciate most in your friends?
The friends who understand that as life gets more complicated and you cannot see them all the time, you can still be great friends. The people we can see once a year and feel like we are all eighteen again, like no time has passed at all.
What would you pack for your favorite vacation?
My camera. Definitely my camera.
What is in your refrigerator now?
A ham I got for free for spending $400 in six months. I keep staring at the expiration date, wondering when I’m going to have time to cook a ham.
What is your favorite way to relieve stress?
[Laughs … and for a good period of time.] Geez … Can I say that here? Okay, well. Honestly, I like to evaluate the things that bring stress to me. When I say them out loud, they tend to go away.
What is your idea of happiness?
There are 9,000 different ways I can answer that question. Okay: laying my head on top of my wife’s chest. Dressed or undressed; it is my ultimate happiness. She’s just so comforting.
What do you most dislike?
There are not a lot of things in my life that I actively dislike, but when I cannot say something to my wife in a way she can understand, when I’m not communicating what I’m feeling. I don’t like that.
What would be your favorite Father’s Day present? Your least favorite?
My kids got me a new baseball glove, and I use it to have a catch with them. My least? The year they told me they’d get me that glove and didn’t.
What words do you try to live by?
Treat people like you want to be treated.
What is your greatest fear?
It has changed. Before my daughter’s diabetes, my greatest fear would have been not being able to keep my family together. Now, it’s that I won’t live long enough to take good care of [my daughter].
What is your greatest extravagance?
Mānuka honey. It’s from New Zealand, and it’s the only kind of homeopathic thing I believe in. I get it online and it’s expensive. When I buy it, it drives a knife into the gut of the poor kid I was growing up.
On what occasion do you lie?
I’d like to say that I don’t lie, but that sounds like a lie. But I don’t really lie. I would lie for self-preservation though. Like if you had a picture of me in the car with O.J. on that highway, right next to him, and you showed it to me, I’d say: Nope. That’s not me.
What’s your favorite movie?
What’s your go-to break-out-your-moves dance song?
There is no song that could ever make me dance. Even in my youth, the promise of passionate love with my wife would not make me dance.
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
I wish I had more time. I wish we did not have to rush so much.
Who are your heroes in real life?
I object to that word “heroes.” But I’ll answer your question even though I don’t think people for the most part are heroes. I have found every person I have ever met who has diabetes to be heroic. You cannot possibly highlight enough what it’s like to live with this 24/7. Oh, and the movie director Kevin Smith. He is just so honest and out there in the world.
What would be your last meal?
I’m not a food person. So my last meal would be twenty uncomfortable minutes of me staring at a menu because none of it would sound exciting.
Any last words of wisdom?
If you are living with diabetes, I encourage you to find a community of like-minded people where you can share it all. It changes your world. And your life.
All opinions contained in this article reflect those of the interviewee and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies, or affiliates.
© 2013 The DX: The Diabetes Experience