He was standing in line for the diving board with a friend and also a group of boys he just met. They were having a good time doing tricks and having cannonball contests.
I watched as the boy in front of him turned around and said “what’s wrong with your stomach?”
My little boy, Brock, covered his belly and mumbled “I had surgery.”
They did their tricks and got back in line.
“Why did you have surgery?”
Brock’s friend answered this time. “He was born with his intestines outside of his body so he had to have surgery to put them all back in. That’s why he doesn’t have a belly button. But he’s fine now.”
Brock used to beg me to let him wear a swim shirt every time we went swimming.
When he and his friends would play shirts vs skins in basketball or soccer practice, he would always volunteer to be shirts. Even when his friends all wanted to be skins.
His scars used to really bother him. He was very self conscious, and wanted to keep his scars out of sight.
He’s past that now. He accepts and embraces his scars with pride.
Recently I heard a kid as him why he doesn’t have a belly button and Brock actually laughed and started singing the Veggie Tales song “I don’t got a belly button.”
He knows his scars tell a story. His story. His fight. Watching him grow to accepting his scars has encouraged me to do the same.
My scars tell a story.
The stretch marks on my belly are a reminder that my body has held 5 beautiful babies inside of it.
The cellulite and stretch marks on my thighs and butt are a reminder of a time that I struggled with and overcame my sweet tooth/junk food way of coping with post partum depression.
I can look in the mirror and be reminded that my body fed 4 sweet babies.
I’m reminded of the scar from small piece of my heart that went missing when one of my babies was born into Jesus arms instead of mine.
I have a painful, bulging varicose vein on my leg that reminds me of a time when I was 19 and asking my OB about a “bruise” on my leg. It’s been there ever since.
Our scars serve as a reminder. A reminder of where we’ve been. How we’ve grown.
Some scars can’t be seen. Some are so visible they can’t go unnoticed. And sometimes our stories are told through our scars.
Whether scars from illness, or childbearing, an accident, or a weight gain/weight loss cycle, our scars can remind us of how we’ve overcome.
While it is awesome to like the way you look, looking good isn’t the only purpose of our body.
Our bodies are meant to be brave. To be strong. To be selfless. To serve. To overcome.
How can I expect my son to be proud of his scars if I am ashamed of mine?
I refuse to look at my scars as a way that my body is damaged or flawed. My scars show that I am a warrior. And that is something I am thankful for.