kids together 2015I have two kids in two very different life stages. Both are growing up with different experiences and with different motivations. You can be the most consistent parent and yet your kids will turn out so incredibly different. The one very big difference in how I’ve raised my kids is I assumed Cameron had the foundation of confidence just because of the benefit of being a boy who has a loving household. In the years following, I’ve had to go further than just assume confidence. I’ve encouraged, I’ve taught, I’ve sought activities that bring him joy and motivation.
boy fall 2015

When Jordan was born I felt the inner need to turn up the parenting confidence meter. The moment I found out she was a girl in our 20 week ultrasound, I committed myself to offering Jordan the confidence she needed to be a girl in a male-dominated world. Then she was born with one hand and suddenly confidence was even more important.

Things I didn’t know that comes with raising two children who are confident (even if those confidences are very different styles):

  1. Confidence is very close to traits that aren’t rewarded like argumentative and defiant. Teaching a child the fine line between those traits is a non-stop, constant training process. It’s exhausting.
  2. Confidence is hard to maintain as kids get older. Parental influence can’t be the only way a child grows in confidence. Activities, friends and the school environment play a big part in this process.
  3. Grandparents will look at your confident kids and mention how you were never like that. And it’s true. I was not raised as a confident child. It was assumed like I have assumed it for Cameron. Our culture didn’t make it easy for me to grow up confident. I was (and remain) a very type-A perfectionist. Confidence didn’t come easily for me. I was always striving to be better and worried about failure. (And sometimes I still battle that challenge.)
  4. Purposefully raising a confident child means you focus on activities and skills differently. Priorities are different.
  5. There is no guarantee that raising a confident child will lead to a confident adult. That fine line challenge… If you can’t teach the difference between jerk and confident, you could end up with a jerk adult. I often worry about that.

girll fall 2015All these thoughts on confidence happened after I took the world’s fastest evening fall photos with the kids yesterday evening. I wrote earlier this week how I worried I wouldn’t get it done. But I did. (Darn that type-A tendency.) And then I stared at the pictures last night. Look at her. That confidence. Every time I see it, I want to bottle it up and hold onto some of it for later… just in case there is a later time when the confidence starts to wobble.

girl confidence

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crossfit-one-hand-ringsMonkey bars are the enemy for a child with one hand and a short arm. It’s always been something Jordan and I mention in a joke when she introduces herself. I say, “Jordan can do everything… but sometimes she does it different.” Then she says, “Except monkey bars. I just can’t do monkey bars.”

It was something to say lightly even though the monkey bars have always been a nemesis. It’s where kids play during recess. It’s not really a welcoming space for Jordan.

So of course her new best friend at Jordan’s new school is an AMAZING monkey bar fan. She dangles and hangs and climbs during each recess period. Jordan’s new awesome friend is SO strong. I have looked at her shoulders and wondered how the heck she’s so strong. And then Jordan told me the reason: Her friend is an expert monkey bar user. She has properly callused hands. She can dangle for the longest time.

So what does Jordan do when her friend is dangling? Well, she plays nearby. But Jordan acknowledges it’s a bummer. And she wants to get strong enough to be able to hang on those bars… Somehow, some day.

adaptive-crossfit-goalsThat’s why at the end of her weekly CrossFit Kids workouts, Jordan spends extra time dangling and getting stronger. She’s working on her grip and ability to raise her body while dangling. It’s a way to build those calluses and get stronger.

While Jordan works on other skills like one-handed push-ups, medicine ball training, box jumping and many other things… She recently had a chance to make things official about her goals at CrossFit. Jordan put her name on the chalkboard and announced two goals: Pull ups and monkey bars. I think she’s going to do whatever work it takes to meet those goals… especially when there’s a friend at the end of that monkey bar.


The overwhelming feeling of traditions

October 27, 2015

Every week, I’m juggling regular life. It’s a combination of child management, a very cool job and travel that happens pretty regularly. I try to make sure I’m getting exercise and when I’m in town, I’m very conscious about making sure our pup gets his exercise. Add in the kids’ activities, sometimes having a chance […]

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Short arms can sometimes be too long

October 9, 2015

I don’t want to come off as whiny. I really don’t. But I’ve had these thoughts hanging over me for a while… When my mom met Jordan for the first time, just hours after she was born, my mom said the most optimistic thing. She commented on how Jordan’s lack of elbow will be even […]

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The joy of Camp No Limits everywhere

October 6, 2015

Last month, Jordan and I had a chance to do something very special. We attended Camp No Limits Maryland. It isn’t our traditional camp location – but since Jordan had the amazing chance to attend the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team Kids Camp, she missed our regular CNL experience in Missouri. Thanks to Boone County […]

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MagZip zippers for everyone!

October 5, 2015

You may remember a little more than a year ago when Jordan tried on her very first MagZip jacket from Under Armour. She’s a massive fan. We a few coats and jackets from the company since that first post. We are honored Under Armour noticed our YouTube video and sent additional samples for Jordan to […]

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A new Camp No Limits adventure

September 3, 2015

Jordan has attended Camp No Limits Missouri every year since she was three… But this year, she missed out because of her amazing opportunity to attend the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team Kids Camp. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I’m so glad she attended the camp. But we were so sad to miss our […]

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A focus on sports and fitness

August 31, 2015

Fitness is something we think about a lot in Jordan’s world. We learned a long time ago that with a limb difference, it’s super important to keep her core strong. If your core is strong, your body will not have as many long term issues due to a limb difference. So sports and fitness is […]

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Books about differences for our new school

August 27, 2015

Every since Jordan was a baby, we’ve used books as a way to help kids better understand how we can all have differences and they aren’t scary. From Harry and Willy and Carrothead to Oliver’s High Five, we’ve loved how books open up conversations for us. This school year was different for us. Since we […]

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While we were away…

August 25, 2015

This summer was a big deal. And poor Born Just Right’s website fell behind on months and months of stories because of it. It all started in May when I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Disney Social Media Moms conference at Walt Disney World. I saw and learned so many amazing things at […]

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Get a chance to meet people developing the future

July 27, 2015

I’ve written about the fantastic ideas and developments coming from the open source group, eNABLE. It’s an international group of makers developing prosthetics using 3D printers and other ingenious methods to make prosthetics more affordable and accessible. It’s redefining prosthetics and the expectations of what is possible for people in the limb difference world. So […]

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A whole new arm experience

July 16, 2015

Jordan has focused a lot of her prosthetic use on specific tasks – mainly activities like biking and kayaking. Her new joy with her new activity arm is using a scooter all over the place. But the biggest reason we use prosthetics is to help her body do more bi-manual motions – gross and fine motor. […]

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The gift of building new arms

July 15, 2015

Jordan and I are in the middle of our seventh round of prosthetic building. It’s nowhere close to as emotionally exhausting as it used to be. We don’t work with a company that is close to home because no one near us has the intense knowledge of upper limb technology as our prosthetist, Dave Rotter. […]

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Different is Awesome Giveaway

July 7, 2015

Books and photos are two of my favorite ways to help kids better understand a physical difference. Each year, Jordan and I put together a short photo book that tell her story and help her classmates better understand how she lives with one hand. I think that’s why I’m extra excited for my friend, Ryan […]

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The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team Kids Camp Experience

June 18, 2015

When Jordan was invited to the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST) Kids Camp, I was sad it took place the same weekend as Camp No Limits Missouri… I actually stopped and talked to Jordan about deciding between the two. We both knew WWAST camp was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And oh boy, it really was. […]

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