“Everyone’s different”

by Jen Lee Reeves on July 27, 2009 · 10 comments

in 2009, Little Arm, Questions

Camping Day 2

Jordan’s questions about her arm are coming from every direction these days — especially when you aren’t expecting it. Yesterday she was in the middle of an all out tantrum with her dad – She was saying no to everything he was asking her to do. No, I won’t wear this. No, I won’t wear that. No, you can’t make me do that. No, I want this hand on my other arm too.

Hold up. Wait a second.

What did you say?

Randy stopped the escalating upset and calmly talked to Jordan about how everyone is different. He pointed out how he doesn’t have hair on his head and he wishes he had hair like some of the other daddies. But it’s what makes him different. He explained how her arm is what makes her different. I’m not sure how the conversation ended, but they calmed down. And today, Jordan spent a portion of the day singing a “everyone’s different” song that she made up. If she sings it again, I’ll try hard to catch it on video. It’s basically a chant where she sings the words “everyone’s different” to a catchy tune. But hopefully that little tune means something to her and it brings her peace.

Last week she flat out demanded I get her another hand because she didn’t like her little arm… I asked her about that and she goes… “Actually, I like my arm.” And she moved on.

Ahhhh! No one writes a how-to guide about this stuff! I feel pretty alone in this even though I know there are other parents around who have gone through this… But I am so afraid to mess up. Jordan is so confident. She is so strong. I don’t want to lose any of it. None. Of. It. I don’t want to put a crack in her wall of strength because I’m afraid I won’t be able to patch it up for her.

But so far, we’re doing okay. She’s VERY strong willed. So much so that my sanity is hanging on a thread. But she’s doing great and I know I shouldn’t worry. But I’m a mom. That’s what I do.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Hui July 27, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Jen, I really admire you and Randy. From this short note, I can see the love from the bottom of parents’ hearts. How hard you have tried to protect this little angle, and make her and her heart strong; how much you treasure her.


Elisa July 27, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Thanks for being such a good role model for me as a parent of a child with a limb difference. My daughter, Isabella, is 10 months old, and I love looking to your blog to see what the future may hold for us and how I should handle it. 🙂

John July 28, 2009 at 2:50 am

“No one writes a how-to guide about this stuff!”

Actually, you seem to be writing a fairly nice how-to blog as you live it. Thank you for sharing.

Cole July 28, 2009 at 3:12 am

Great post. Thanks for sharing it and for being who you are. Tell Randy he’s amazing as well. Take care!

NerdyMom July 28, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Thanks everyone — The support is wonderful. I’ll tackle every challenge, keep sharing it and hopefully we’ll all figure out how this works along the way.

Or in other words… Jordan will teach us. She tends to do that often. (When she isn’t throwing her three-year-old attitude around.)

Michelle July 30, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Jen- I have seen you and Jordan since the begining. That little girl is impossible to crack. You have done an amazing job handling and dealing with everything Jordan has been thrown. I know I thought about you and Jordan when I was pregnant with Gavin . Anything can happen and you never know who’s gonna get it. Its like a bad game of spin the bottle of Life’s Quirks!

NerdyMom July 30, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Thanks Michelle! You’re awesome!

Kristi August 4, 2009 at 11:26 am

My 4 yr old has a below elbow limb difference and he asked my husband the other day if his little arm would ever grow and later wistfully remarked ‘I wish I had two hands’. 99% of the time it’s a total non-issue for him but when he comes up with these thoughts, it really feels like a kick in the gut.

NerdyMom August 4, 2009 at 11:39 am

It is a punch in the gut… I just hope I can react well when it comes up. Jordan doesn’t seem to dwell on these feelings and usually comes up to me not much later to tell me how she likes her little arm. But it hurts knowing she has to grapple with this! It’s like she’s slowing going through what I went through when she was first born. I’m in full acceptance… She’s just getting started.

Tricia and Haylee August 28, 2009 at 5:23 pm

For a while there Haylee was the same way would ask questions and wonder why. But we always came up with the same answer. Because God made us that way and she finally got it. Now she says I have this hand because God made me this way and you have ___________ because God made you that way. It gets easier to explain as they get older and understand more.

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