When you’re expecting a baby, you imagine them to be perfect. 10 perfect little fingers, 10 perfect little toes. We all have worries about them being healthy, and we all have that little flutter of anxiety as we go into our 12 and 20 week scans. The funny thing is though, that once our baby is here, it doesn’t matter what imperfections society may perceive them to have, for they will be completely and utterly perfect to us as their parents. They will be perfect despite any birthmarks, freckles, beauty spots or anything else that is perceived as a blemish.
When Baby Lighty was born, he was completely unblemished. No birthmarks to be seen on his baby soft skin. A tiny 6lbs 8.5oz, he was a little on the wrinkly side, like his skin didn’t quite fit his frame, but of course Mr Lighty and I thought that he was completely and utterly perfect. We still do.At about 10 days old, a curious thing happened. We started to notice that since being born he had developed a tiny freckle under one eye. I can remember that it appeared at about this time, as when we had the postnatal Health Visitor appointment, she asked if he had any unusual or distinguishing features. I pointed out the tiny freckle, and the Health Visitor commented that it was probably just a pigment birthmark and to keep an eye on it to make sure that it didn’t get any bigger in proportion to his facial features. According to the NHS website, pigmented birthmarks such as this are called café-au-lait spots, and many children have one or two. Indeed, Mrs Lighty has one herself, and whilst pregnant, I also had pregnancy mask under one eye, in the exact same spot as Baby Lighty’s birthmark is; the Health Visitor seemed to think that Baby Lighty’s birthmark could be linked to my pregnancy mask!
To be honest, although it was a bit worrying when Baby Lighty’s birthmark first appeared, Mr Lighty and I have nothing but love for it. When I would feed him his bottles, I’d often find myself stroking his birthmark with my spare fingers, and we always say that it adds character to his already beautiful face.
I love his birthmark, it’s one of the many cute little things that makes Baby Lighty Baby Lighty. But that’s not to say that I don’t worry about his birthmark, either.I worry for him in the sense that, will he grow up to hate it? It’s got slightly bigger purely as his face has got bigger, and I’ve always worried that it’ll get big to the point of him feeling self conscious about it. I also worry about what other children will make of it when he gets to school age, because try as we might as parents to both bring our children up to be respectful of difference as well as shield them from any hurt, we all know that kids can be mean, even if they don’t mean to be. Whenever someone new has met Baby Lighty in the past, one of the first things they comment on is his birthmark. Most of the time it’s simply out of curiosity to the effect of “oh what’s that little mark on his cheek?”, but there have been some nasty comments made too, even if they were a case of not thinking before they were spoken. As an example, a family member once said “Every time I see [Baby Lighty] I always think he’s got a dirty mark on his face because of his birthmark!” Although at the time I felt ready to spit blood on Baby Lighty’s behalf, I put a brave face on it and told the truth: that I love his little birthmark. The comment did get me thinking – or rather worrying – however. If that’s a family member saying that, what will other children say? I guess the only good thing about the whole situation is that it has made me firmly want to not only celebrate in his quirks, but also teach Baby Lighty to be tolerant of other people’s quirks. We are all different, and none of us are perfect. And wouldn’t the world be a boring place if we all were?
And yet the irony in all this? After all of this worry, his little birthmark is now starting to fade. Over the last six months it’s definitely become less noticeable. And despite all the worry associated with it, I know that if it disappears completely, I’m really going to miss it.
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