I walked into my son’s preschool today to find a sign on the door that my child had been exposed to impetigo. Most parents had never heard of it. So of course the first thing people did was pull out their phone to Google. If you too aren’t familiar with impetigo, here is a useful link from the Mayo Clinic.
I, however, knew immediately about impetigo. I had it as a young child. In fact, from a very young age, I’ve carried the scars my entire life. Yes, my face was scared in 4 different places (two places under my eye and two under my nose). The two scars under my eye were from the sores under my nose. The ones under my nose were originally on my chin. As I grew, the scars moved.
Funny how at 41, I am still very self-conscious of those scars – and how in an instant I was transported back in time to that awkward teenager who sometimes would look away because I was embarrassed of the scars on my face. When come to find out, most don’t even notice them, but I assume that’s the first thing that they see.
I do remember when my son was small, he touched them with his finger and asked me what they were. He asked once – and has never needed another explanation. He accepts me for who I am. I wish sometimes that I could look at me like he looks at me with complete love. I know that I am my own worst critic. I know that I put pressure on me that no one else does.
And I know that the scars that I carry (both outward and inward) sometimes cause me to be shy and lack self-confidence. But did you know that the definition of scar is that it’s the biological repair of a wound, and that it’s part of the natural healing process?
Wow, maybe instead of being embarrassed by those scars, I should instead see them as strength, as healing. My scars help make me who I am.
A simple sign at school caused me to re-live some painful moments, and realize that it’s time that I embraced my scars and let myself heal.