Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Imperfections

Every grown-up has scars, blemishes, marks and other imperfections (and those are only the ones on the outside) but we don't expect to see those on our children. When my son had to get stitches on his cheek, it nearly killed me to think about him being scarred. A little over a year later, the scar is there, but it has faded a lot and probably wouldn't even be noticed by a casual observer.

If the worry over that scar made me fret, I had no idea what I'd be in for later. Each baby has required me to learn about new illnesses, injuries and diseases. I had to deal with stitches with my son and a skull fracture. I learned all about molar pregnancies when I miscarried. My two year old daughter managed to get pertussis at the age of three months, got dehydrated from a vomit bug and seemed to catch every illness under the sun for the first 18 month of her life.

But to look at those two, they are healthy and beautiful. As perfect and unblemished as any mom could hope for her children to be. When my baby was born, she arrived equally beautiful with a perfect round head, big bright eyes and long lashes. She's grown roly-poly and has a wonderful smile. However, she also arrived with a faint spot on her forehead, another a bit higher up and another on the back of her neck. The two in less obvious places are still faint, but the one in the middle of her forehead has become bright red and started growing, looking at first like a caste mark and now like a unicorn horn about to sprout. My daughter has hemangiomas, something I'd never heard of until she came along.

I think she's beautiful, but every time we go out, we get asked what happened to her or what that thing on her head is. People aren't unkind, just curious, but I worry. Children are unkind at times. If her hemangioma hasn't faded in a few years, what will it be like for her on the playground. Also, because she has several marks, there is the chance that she has internal -- more dangerous -- ones as well. And so I fret and pray and worry some more. But I still think she's beautiful.

We go to the doctor next week and I hope to learn more and find out what options we have. They can do a lot with steriods and lasers when appropriate.

And to think only a year ago I thought a little scar was a big deal.

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