Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Glass Scattered and Nothing Changed

It finally happened. The conversation I have been dreading, yet planning for since I found out I was pregnant with Liam, was had today.

As I pulled away from our daycare to take the boys home, Liam told me about his day. All the fun he had with his friends, what he ate for lunch, and how he had put his leg (fully clothed with shoes and socks) into the pool, etc., when he quickly changed the subject. Here's how it went:

Mommy: Why did you put your whole leg in the water?
Liam: I was hot.
Mommy: Well, you could have taken off your shoes and socks first!
Liam: Mom.....?
Mommy: Yes?
Liam: The other Cassie has hair.
Mommy: Yes, she does. But I don't! (saying it with excitement, but feeling a bit panicky)
Liam: Nope, you don't........why not?
Mommy: I have something called Alopecia. Can you say Alopecia?
Liam: Aloe-pee-sha.
Mommy: That's right! That just means mommy's body doesn't like my hair, so it makes it go away. But that's okay. I like not having hair.
Liam: Ya! Lots of mommies have hair, but some don't.
Mommy: Yep. Some mommies don't have hair, some daddies don't have hair, some kids don't have hair. Just like some people have red hair, or blonde hair, or brown hair. I just don't have any!
Liam: Mommy, I like you with no hair!
*This is the point where my heart melts*
Mommy: Thank you honey. I love you, just the way you are, too!
Liam: Yep.

I have known for quite some time that Liam would notice my differences sooner or later, that the questions from the kiddos at his new preschool would prompt comments, and that I would have to explain why. I was worried about how he would respond, whether or not me being different would make him feel differently about me, that he would be ashamed or embarrassed of his mommy, and about how I would help him understand without making it a big deal. I saw this conversation as a potential "glass shattering" moment (for my friends who watch How I Met Your Mother), that he would never think of me the same way.

I should have never worried about it. My son loves me for me. Just as my students, he looks past my lack of hair, and sees me. He is so smart and understanding. He already knows what parts of a person are important. I'm so proud to call him my son, and I can't wait to see how his empathy and respect for others, and their differences, grows as he does.

Liam and his bald mama

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