It has been awhile since I have updated on here. I started back at work in early November and what can I say? Getting back into a routine certainly takes some getting used to. I tried to organize myself as best as I could: I made lunches the night before. I made dinners or at least did most of the prep the evening before or in the morning before dropping Alexa off at school. It certainly made it easier to do pick ups, get a meal on the table, do homework and then have some snuggle time before bath and bedtime routines are started. I still do miss all that "us" time we had.
Add in the arrival of the Christmas season and well, needless to say, there has not been much time to blog.
But there has been one thing that has been pressing on my mind.
After Alexa's scar healed from the transplant surgery, there were two persistent "dissolvable stitches" that had not quite dissolved. One was right on her scar and that one actually broke through the skin. The other was just above her line, and that one was protruding but had not broken skin yet. They are like tiny plastic strings that are more of a nuisance than anything else.
In the last month they were becoming less and less noticeable. The one that had not broken skin, actually disappeared, I gather it finally dissolved.
So, last week I had been helping Alexa get dressed and realized that I had not felt the other in a bit. So I started feeling it despite some reluctance by the little one. Boy, is she ever snarky in the morning!
I was so happy to see that the pesky little stitch had also dissolved. I told her the good news and how happy I was that it was no longer going to pester her.
That is when she turned to me and pointing to her scar said
"Mommy, but this line is still here. When is the line going to go away?"
I immediately cringed, thought quickly and told her that it was not going to go away. It will get lighter but will not go away for quite awhile.
She then said
"But mommy, I don't want to go swimming with that line there!"
And that is when I had to hold it together because tears of sadness wanted to stream out of me!
I would like to think that I handled it okay but I am just not sure. I told her that her scar was special. Her daddy had a similar one and it meant that the two of them were so brave, so courageous and so strong. That only very special people get to have a scar to show everyone how very special they are.
She said okay and then said that would go swimming in her Rapunzel bathing suit. It is the only full-piece she owns, so I guess I was not so convincing.
And I can't say I blame her for worrying about that scar. Prior to transplant, I hated the thought of her perfectly, beautiful round belly being marked for life. There were many days before the transplant that I kissed and rubbed that perfectly beautiful and unmarked belly knowing that my days for seeing it like that were numbered. I know it sounds dumb--here we are contemplating transplant to eliminate the risk of brain damage and I was worrying, essentially about appearances. It sounds superficial. But I have to be honest, it was a thought that I had to shove out of my brain because it was too much to handle.
But the instance that tape came off and that scar was visible, something changed. Instantly, I did a complete turn around. I saw that belly and that scar and I instantly fell in love with it all over again. I love to rub and kiss it, when she will let me of course. That belly is now my symbol of what a brave girl I have and reminds me of how far she has come. To me, that scar is truly beautiful.
I am saddened and worried too that Alexa, at 5 years old, thinks that there is something wrong with her stomach that needs to be hidden. How much stock do we put into appearance when my 5 year old is choosing to wear a one-piece over her favourite bikini's? And how do I change her mindset? The last thing I want is for to have low self-esteem or low self-confidence because she has some different medical needs.
How do I make her see how beautiful, smart, brave, courageous and special she truly is? I don't know yet, but I sure as hell won't stop until she sees what we all see.