Sunday, February 24, 2013

Scars and Birthmarks

          Scars and birthmarks are the first thing I usually notice about a person. They are a shout out to the world, Unique, Customized, One of a Kind, and I find them quite attractive.
          It was about 15 years ago when I learned that my perspective and view of these marks are a bit unique and others don’t see what I see; which I find equally as odd as those who think they look like flaws.
I didn’t intentionally not talk about these amazing marks and my respect of them, it just never came up until I saw a man with a crimson birthmark covering one side of his face. I was with my husband, back in my married days, and met his coworker for the first time. I could hardly contain my composure when I saw this other man and his birthmark. Not that I wanted to jump his bones, but I did want to go on and on about how completely AWESOME his fabulous mark of individuality looked, like he was a chosen one to receive such a mark. When my husband and I left the building, I couldn’t restrain my admiration past walking out the door. By the time we got into the car, he had the most bizarre look on his face. It was a cross between wanting to take me for a psychological evaluation mixed with a soft smile of intrigued delicacy. Kind of like, You have a third eye ... I think I may like it ...
  He probed for more, so I told him, “I know every single mark on your body and how it got there. All marks show character and a story lies behind each one.” Then, looking out the window, I went on, “You know, the guy I dated before you had this amazing vertical scar on his forehead. It was off center just above his eyebrow and went up. Mmmm, I just thought that was the coolest part of him … but I never told him.”
          By this time, my husband said, “When we get home … I’m getting out my hunting knife,” and he made a fist like he was holding a knife, making slash marks on his face. That was one of the few pretty deep, funny things he ever said, considering he’s really not too deep or funny by nature. I don’t remember him saying a lot, but I do remember he accepted it and it became something he understood and liked. Then I mentioned it to a few other people. Conversation starter for sure. A friend at work mentioned the guy I dated, “What if he was self conscious and had that scar cosmetically removed?”
          Eyes big and distraught, I said, “NOOO! That would be tragic!”
After finding a way to word my reasoning, I found a way to get his email and ask him. The scar remains. He had considered removing it, thinks he’ll keep it and told me how he got it. A big wheel wreck when he was little. Everyone has a story behind every scar. Historical imprints. Time frozen and etched. Love, love, love these marks …
          Anyway, lately as I am realizing that I see and interpret things in a different way, I have talked about it more. This part of me has been something that has been appreciated and helps people get me, plus they see these marks in a different light. I like that. It's really not so hard to understand considering the rise in tatooes. Same concept, just intentional instead of natural ...
          My favorite verbal illustration is about a scar on my oldest daughter’s forehead. She is almost 18, all grown up and looks like the young woman she is … Yet, there is a window for me that keeps my daughter’s little baby face front and center.
          When she was 9 months old, she tipped over into the bathtub and hit her head on the little pull stick that is on the faucet, the one that you pull to make the water come out the shower head. It was her first injury and I was ready to rush her to the ER. It was the first time my child was hurt, and I could not stop it or take it away. I held her, comforted her and she was okay … See where I’m going with this?
          Even though she is about to graduate high school, leave our little nest, she is bigger than me and no longer looks like a little baby … when she raises her eyebrows just right, the mark of my 9 month old baby girl flashes as a silent wink to her mommy, like a breeze of springtime air. I can remember myself as a young mother and still see her little baby face, the one that started my life. The same goes for the tiny scar on her right cheek. Somehow, when she was only one week old, she scratched herself. Still to this day, I cannot figure out how or why a nail scratch could be so defined, especially by a newborn baby. But again, it reflects my delicate newborn baby, memory of the fear of cutting her tiny nails and the awe of holding a new life given to me. Maybe that makes sense, maybe it’s too deep, but it is what it is. Those scars represent the start to lots of wonderful in my life. Reminders that I cannot keep life from hurting her; it is the hard knocks that form us. The same goes for my youngest daughter, I know every mark on her as well. The mole she hates, the freckle in her left eye and the way her little toes do just as they did when she was born, especially her second one on her left foot. She knows, that’s my favorite one.
From my seat, we should never be ashamed of marks that make us different. Honor their meaning and let them be a source of pride. The odds are, we grew in some way and those marks are reminders of times in life, who we were and who we are. Whether they were good or bad, we are past them now, stronger and better. The scars were wounds at one time, but now they have healed and birthmarks show we were not cloned. One of a kind is my favorite kind.

Scar and birthmark fan,

No comments:

Post a Comment