When my daughter was born, my brother-in-law was leery about coming into meet her. He saw the red marks all over her face, and he was worried for her. He was worried that she was “scarred” for life. From the first instant, he was worried about how people would react to her for the rest of her life.
Because I had already been assured by all of the doctors and nurses that the Angel Kiss Birthmarks that covered her eyes, forehead, nose, upper lip and chin would completely fade I wasn’t worried, but appreciated the sentiment. To me, she was perfect.
If I had known that the doctor didn’t mean quickly and completely, I might have been worried too. Today, she is 16-months-old, and when I see her, I don’t see the redness. It has faded considerably since birth, but everywhere I go, everyone else only sees her red nose.
“Oh, she must be tired, look at her little red nose.” Or at Christmas time, “Oh, a little red nose like Rudolph.” Or even “Oh, look at her little, red sun burnt nose.”
I know people don’t mean to be mean when they say these things, but really people — think before you speak. I am not blind, I see it. I don’t need you to point it out, and I don’t need you to tell me my daughter is tired or hungry – you don’t know, I do. Rudolph, really… there is nothing nice with that comment. And I am a good, conscientious mom — I don’t let my baby get sun burnt.
Sometimes I feel the need to point this out to people, “No, it’s a birthmark not whatever…” Other times, I bite my tongue and try to brush off these comments, by unknowing strangers. But still I feel myself go tense each time someone mentions her little, red nose. Like all moms, I only want the very best for my girl, and I am already starting to become paranoid that my brother-in-law might have been right to worry. For now, she is too little to understand their words, so remind myself it is going away. And with each comment, I say a little prayer that it fades completely before she is old enough to understand…