Last week I had a few biopsies done. Various forms of skin cancer run in my family so it’s almost like a family event for everyone to go to the dermatologist.
I’m not as faithful to this visit as I should be, but I decided to do the right thing and show up for an appointment last week.
The doctor did three biopsies which are usually no big deal. Just a little razor action, and everyone goes their separate ways. I have apparently had some sort of allergic reaction to the medicine they injected. This reaction has cause me to be a little more sensitive. One of the biopsies was on my neck, so this is a particularly serious problem with four little girls running around.
I had to sit them down and tell them that momma went to the doctor and they have to be a little more careful around my neck for the next couple of days.
Of course, that just made the questions begin to fly. “Momma, why did you have to go to the doctor?” “Did you get a shot?” “What’s that Bandaid for?” “Does it hurt?”
I?tried to set their little minds at ease by telling them that the doctors have to run some tests to make sure we don’t have any cancer and it’s really no big deal.
This seemed to be a good answer for their 6-8 year old minds at the time. A couple of days later, Raygan, one of our 8 year olds, out of the blue comes up to me and hugs my leg and says, “Momma, I don’t want you to have cancer.”
It about broke my heart. I?immediately picked her up and told her that I didn’t have cancer, we were just being super careful to take care of our bodies so that we didn’t get cancer. It set her mind at ease and it made me feel a little better that my baby actually cared about the health of her momma.
The next morning I was getting the girls ready for school, which is a rather hectic time in the mornings. We do a lot of rushing and cramming and running to make it to school on time.
This particular morning I ran through the kitchen, throwing books in back packs and snacks in lunch boxes. I got thirsty but didn’t have time to pour myself a glass of water, so I grabbed Raygan’s water bottle that was sitting on the counter and took a quick swig to ease my thirst.
She screamed like I just stomped on her pet lizard, grabbed the water bottle out of my hand and started wiping the mouth piece off with a napkin. She then yelled, “Momma! Do you want me to get cancer? Why would you do that!”
I laughed so hard, and she just stared at me like I was the worse human being to ever walk upon the face of the earth.
I told her again that I?didn’t have cancer and then explained to her that you can’t get skin cancer from drinking after each other.
It made me think about the way that children’s minds work. They are always figuring things out and always thinking. There is no telling how many times in the past week that she has thought about those biopsies. She obviously had it on her mind that morning, and she obviously thought that I didn’t care about her safety when it came to skin cancer.
We take for granted how much our children know and how much they are paying attention. What was suppose to be a five minute conversation with my daughters to keep them from hanging on my neck like little monkeys turned into my daughter thinking I may die soon.
It’s so important that we remember how their minds work when we are communicating with them.
Don’t take their little feeling for granted. Their feelings matter. Their thoughts matter, and the way they come to conclusions in their little minds matters.
Don’t just shrug off everything they say like they don’t know what they are talking about. Their minds are constantly placing little pieces of the puzzle together and sometimes they need our help to make it all make sense.
So don’t just tell your children that they can’t climb on your neck for a few weeks because the doctors are doing some tests, reassure them that mommy and daddy are going to be okay and they have nothing to worry about. Or they may completely overreact to your drinking out of their water bottles before school.