"no. i wouldn't say I'm FOCUSING, just thinking about it."
I was focusing on the scar. one large scar, right down the center of her chest. a scar whose line starts just under the notch of her sternum and travels down to the top of her rib cage. it won't blend in. i would be telling a lie if i did not write about my first thoughts. the thoughts of a scar poking through her prom dress, her senior photos, her wedding dress. I had thought about how cruel kids can be- what they might say about the huge line down her breast bone.
If I'm honest, it brought me back to my childhood. the way my body looked just a little bit different from my friends. I was fair...pale, if you will. I had (and still do) dark blue veins that stood out on my chest. My legs where so white that my friends (ahem, ali and allison) used to poke fun that my legs looked like milk jars.
I have always, -oh dear God please let it stop one day- felt my body out of place. too curvy, too thick, too much up top. Every single time I put a dress on, I have to think...does this make me look like a woman of the night? My friends with smaller more delicate frames never have to ask that question....they don't look inappropriate in a stylish v-neck sweater from J-Crew. I do.
I have always dreamt that my little girl would be the exact opposite of me. petite, quiet, delicate. I hoped that when she walked into a room, she would be seen for all the things that I want to be seen for. Intelligence, dedication, poise, strength. I'm scared of this scar. I'm scared of this traumatic story, that will be told by her and retold a hundred times to strangers- at least- strangers to me.
For me, this scar represents Poppy's autonomy. Her heart failure, her pulmonary hypertension, her very near death experience...it all happened to her. I would have gladly ripped my chest open on her behalf. I would have taken all of it from her if I could. I couldn't. All those months that she cooked in my belly, when we were one...those are over. She is her own person. she'll have her own baggage, health issues, successes, insecurities, and failures. I'm just along for the ride as long as she'll let me.
This scar is a part of Poppy, not me. She will grow into it. Sometimes she will hate it, other times..maybe she will use it as a source of strength and grit. My focus on the scar had so little to do with what it would look like and far more to do with it belonging to HER. my girl. my eight month old baby had heart surgery and in the moments that I forget, or hope to forget, there it will be. A perfectly straight, long scar right down the middle of her chest. A reminder of what she went through. How close we were to losing her...and how hard she fought to keep going.
We named her Poppy for a reason. the wild poppies grow almost anywhere. they are hearty, earthy, beautiful flowers that represent all the things we know our girl will be. Poppies have grit. Our Poppy, she has grit.