First of many conversations

One thing we learned at back to school night was that the kids’ science class will cover both the skeleton and circulatory systems sometime this year.  Of course, given J’s history with medical professionals in both fields, I asked the teacher if she would be interesting in having J be a sort of show and tell during these classes.

The skeleton will be easy since I still have his x-ray from his run-in with a slide at Disney World (if you hadn’t heard, yes, he actually broke his leg at Disney World.  It’s not a vacation until somebody gets hurt.)

The circulatory system will be a little trickier.  J knows something’s up with his heart.  It’s hard not to when you go to a cardiologist twice a year, and have the full-length zipper scar on your chest.  But this class will give us yet another chance to talk about it with him.  So yesterday, I started talking to him about the upcoming class and how he’d be able to share his “boo-boo” with the rest of the class.  As most things go with J, he was very mellow about it.

What I didn’t anticipate was A’s reaction.

When I started talking about what they were going to study and how J could show how they fixed his boo-boo, A got really quiet.  As soon as her thumb went into her mouth, I knew she was really concerned about something.  I asked her what was wrong.

“Why didn’t they fix my heart?” she said.

Wow.  Never thought about that.  She’ now worried that something is wrong with her heart, but we only fixed J’s.

After that frozen parent moment of “Ugh, what am I going to say to that?” my brain came up with “Honey, your heart is perfect.   They didn’t need to fix it.”

Of course, that lead her to say this:

“So J’s heart is fixed now?”

Oh, it’s getting better.  Technically, J’s heart isn’t permanently fixed.  Since he doesn’t have a pulmonary valve now, he’ll eventually need an artificial valve.  But since his blood oxygen levels are in the high 90s, he’s on no medications and has no activity restrictions, I went with this:

“J is just fine now.”

OK, technically true, I guess.  And that answer seemed to placate A, at least a little bit.  But she still had a look of concern.  So I asked her if there was still something wrong.

“Can I tell the class about J’s heart?  That way he won’t be scared.”

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3 Comments on “First of many conversations”

  1. carpoolqueen Says:

    Will you please post a hanky alert next time? There are days when I think the boys don’t care one whit about each other, and then J or T will make a comment similar to this about their brother and it reaffirms that all is right with the world.

  2. Tiffani Says:

    Wow. I love seeing that sweet relationship peek through between my boy and girl. I love A’s tenderness and I think you handled the situation quite nicely.

    By the way, my daughter gashed her head open at Disney World under the railroad pass close to Splash Mountain…she was standing in the stroller (she was 2) and we moved it and WHAM right onto the hugacious rocks…I had to RUN through the park with her head gushing blood while my Hubs pushed the stroller and the 6 year old telling everyone to MOVE!! Yep, high five on that one, Not Ned.


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