Last night, as I was washing Jennifer's hair in the bathtub, she grew sad and told me that she had something to confess. I asked her what it was and she explained that the kids in her classroom thought I look ugly. (Here we go again, with the whole "looking ugly" thing! Sheesh! But with children, this kinda thing is inconsequential, because children are not mature enough to understand that there are burn survivors in this world.) I have visited Jennifer's classroom MANY times. The people there know me because I am there so much. (And I kinda have a face that's hard to forget and easy to recognize! LOL) So I have been there enough for her classmates to know what I look like.
This confession did not surprise me at all. I explained to Jennifer that it's only natural for children to think that, because they don't understand why I look the way I do. We discussed how some people try to cover up their scars with make-up and stuff. I told her I would never do that. I am not so ashamed of my face that I will cover it up for the world. I do wear make-up for special occasions, but not every day. And it's only BECAUSE of the special occasion.
I guess she felt bad telling me this because she assured me that she thought I was "beautiful" and she counted off all of the good things I have done for her and her little brother. That just warmed my heart. It's not every day a mother gets thanks and appreciation like that after giving so much of herself to her children every day. I let her know I was glad she felt that way and I appreciated how she told me that.
We talked again about my burn scars. I told her I couldn't do anything to fix it. I have severe third degree burns. The skin is destroyed and it can't be repaired. I told her some people wear skin-type gloves and coverings over their scars but I won't do that. That thought made her remember an episode of SpongeBob Squarepants, where SpongeBob wanted to have muscles so badly that he bought fake ones to show off. She recounted the episode, though I already knew it because I've seen it a million times. She said that was a stupid thing to do. I agreed and I told her I wouldn't do that. "I'm not going to be a fake," I said. "This is the real me, and I want the world to see the real me."
She thought for a minute, smiled then said, "You're smarter than SpongeBob."
I laughed and said, "I certainly hope so."