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Questions in the family

I don’t normally write about Cameron (Jordan’s almost nine-year-old brother) on this blog since he’s learning to blog on his own webpage, but we had a moment today that I think is worth sharing. Not long after I picked up Cameron from school this afternoon, we had an unexpected conversation:

Cam: “Mom? Did Jordan have cancer?”
Me: “No! Where did you get that idea?”
Cam: “Oh, we were talking about sickness at school and I thought Jordan has cancer when she was a baby.”
Me: “You told your class that?”
Cam: “Uh, yeah.”
Me: “Some things are unexplained. Jordan was born the way she was just because.”
Cam (almost immediately): “Did you smoke?”
*my brain explodes*
Me: “No! I didn’t even take a Tylenol!”

Oh wow. This conversation ended just about as abruptly as it started since I was dropping Cam off at his piano lesson. It took me a few moments to adjust to that conversation. It caught me off-guard. I didn’t expect it. I guess all this time where we’ve talked about how “Jordan was born this way,” I had assumed Cameron was listening.

The cancer thing? Apparently Cameron tells me he was thinking about cancer and just guessed that cancer is why she is missing a hand. He decided to jump to this conclusion without checking in with his parents. I talked to him a bit more about it before he went to bed tonight. Cam just didn’t know. Thewhole “she was born that way” reasoning didn’t make sense. I explained to him a couple of theories of how Jordan’s heart may have just blipped for a moment when she was first growing and her left arm didn’t grow like the other one or the possibility she had a blood clot in her arm that stopped the growth. But we just don’t know. I asked him to ask me questions instead of jump to conclusions. I also let him know that I love him a ton.

We talked to Cam about Jordan when she was born… but we never really felt the need to talk about it again. But he was four years old when she was a baby. Five years later, I guess it makes sense that we need to refresh the conversation and make it a little more grown up. Another lesson learned as we ride this wild limb difference ride.


  1. Breck on March 4, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Funny! Good to know this! I guess it’s a bit like the sex talk…it has to be discussed every now and then as the child’s understanding of their world expands. 🙂

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