It starts so early. As soon as a woman meets the man she'll marry, she envisions what her children will look like. For some, it's even a deciding factor for choosing a mate. Does he have good genes? Will he go grey? Will they get his blue eyes? And finally, the day comes when she sees her baby boy's face for the first time and all her thoughts are confirmed - he's perfect!
The boy grows and changes and every time she looks at him, she is further convinced that he's the most beautiful boy in the whole world. But then her vision of her perfect child is corrupted. A fall at school leaves his handsome smile scarred with a chipped tooth. She cries but is glad he's okay and nothing more serious.
Before long, the chipped tooth becomes a part of his charm and charactar. Life proceeds as usual, with her ideal son persisting as the center of her life. He reaches several milestones right on target and impresses the people around him with his witty conversation and inventive personality. Nothing can go wrong for this golden boy.
Nothing except ice cream.
One bite made her realize her son was in pain. The thought of anything being wrong with her baby makes her want to cry and when the dentist tells her he has to pull the baby's front tooth, she's heartbroken. His three-year-old-pictures won't be the same. His beautiful, chipped, quirky smile different and wrong. But she's just glad that he's no longer in pain. As she holds her baby's head in her lap as he sleeps away the pain and memory of his dentist visit, though, she realizes he's the same boy after all. He still loves cho-choc and Curious George. He still loves to work outside in his mud shoes and get dirty. And he still lives and breathes and loves his mama just like he did before. She'll get used to his new gapped smile just like she did before and come to love it as part of her little man.
She'll also learn a valuable lesson. She learned that if she continued to expect her son to look a certain way or act a certain way, then she's setting herself up for a life of heartache. Because children change and grow and they don't ask permission to do so. And no matter how they surprise you, they are still perfect because they are yours.
I wrote this after Jace's chipped tooth had to be pulled and it just broke my heart for him to have a "flaw". I know, I know...it was pretty darn vain of me to think that way. But after taking Jace to the eye doctor today and learning he might have to have glasses, the same feelings came flooding back and I remembered this journal entry I made. Admittedly, it's a bit melodramatic. But in my defense, I was pregnant then and had an abundance of hormones doing most of my talking for me. At any rate, if it comes down to Jace needing glasses, I'll just be happy he's alive and well and a fantastically rambunctious little man.