Yesterday was Seth's 6th birthday. As I wished him Happy Birthday as he climbed into bed with us that morning, I hugged him. And as I did a wave of emotion suddenly engulfed me and it was all I could do not to cry.
Six short years have gone by and during that time Seth has undergone fifteen or so treatments. His birthmark has faded significantly although it comes back after long periods of no treatments.
He had a treatment in September. Shortly after school started. I was a little apprehensive about how the other kids would react to the spots of the treatment. I talked to Seth before he went back to school and told him to tell a teacher if anyone said anything that hurt him or made him sad. After he got home he told me he had a happy day. He climbed into my lap and we snuggled. After a couple of minutes he told me that a boy had asked him why he had spots on his face. I asked him what he said. Seth said he didn't say anything he just turned around and walked away. He then looked at me and said "Mommy, why do I have spots on my face?" Right then it dawned on me that I had been so preoccupied with making sure that the other students understood why Seth has spots on his face that I forgot to explain it to Seth. I also realized that he probably had no clue what he looked like to other people. I pray that he could always have that innocence. Even though I know it can't be.
My heart aches for him today. I was standing in the shower & suddenly I started sobbing. My body shook & I fell to the floor of the tub. Begging God to keep his life full of love.
I am so used to seeing Seth with his birthmark that I don't even notice it. But I see how other people look at him & hear the remarks. Mostly innocent ones. I know that he doesn't hear them or have any idea what they mean by them. But they cut me like a knife.
I want to protect him forever. To steal him away so that one one can ever hurt him. So that one day when he does understand the remarks, he is not there to hear them.
But I know this can't be so.
His birthday brings back all the emotions. That first night in the hospital after he was born. Sobbing in bed by myself holding him tightly. Wondering what I had done wrong. The nurses and visitors noticing but not wanting to say anything. The barrage of questions we all had. But most of all "Why?"
I ask God that ever so often. Why? Why him? What plan could you possible have in store for him, that is so important that you have to mark him? Why must my child live with the stares, glances and remarks?
I can't begin to understand. I hope that someday God reveals his plan to me. I hope it is worth it.