The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Cuts that Don't Scar

Four lovely, nearly teenage girls joined us in the warm pool at the gym today. As the pool is the size of a parking space, it was difficult to give them much privacy in their earnest discussions about their teachers and parents.

We did our best. My four-year old daughter simply let her mouth fall open, to stare in tactful, open worship of big girls. This left Emi, my two-year old, and I some time together to play jump into my arms and spit water.

Within a few minutes, the tweens’ voices grew hushed. I could feel my neck tense up as I caught a glimpse of a blonde twiggy girl doing a hand-covering-mouth gesture while pointing at my child. I turned and smiled at the girls, who looked away and leaned closer together. Some one said, “Did you see it?” and they each started to glance sideways at my littlest daughter.

We had arrived.

The girls were pointing at the long pink scar that descends down Emily’s tiny chest from sternum to mid-belly, highlighted by miniature scars beside it where the surgery thread entered her body. I’d wondered what this inevitable moment would feel like, where some ignorant soul did some rubbernecking at my kid’s marked-up torso. When I imagined it, I thought I’d puff up and feel protective, maybe throw an icy look at the guilty party to punish them.

But there we were, all sitting in the soothing bubbly water. The catty hissing of the girls landing on my unaware miracle child came and went. I felt no need to protect my daughter, no pain or embarrassment. Just a watery pity for people who don’t see her accurately.

The good news was better than I had expected. As long as I know that my daughter’s heart defects and how they are witnessed on the soft surface of her body don’t define her, the petty, rejecting side of social life doesn’t really pose any danger.

She’ll know soon enough that her heart needs extra care. Hopefully, this knowledge will remain just information, aside from her wholeness and pricelessness.

Maybe, most days, she’ll let the shallow, blind reactions of others dissolve like lumps of sugar in a glass of clear water.

By Avvy Mar


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