By Kelly Wilton
There is nothing quite like a fresh scar to remind you how far you’ve come in your own personal growth; and almost simultaneously how quickly the stares of others can put you back into the same place you were before!
Recently my son, Mikey, underwent his second brain surgery in just over two years. I was coming to terms very well, or so I had thought, with the visible large scar on the side of his head and with the different reactions we receive on any given day.
MovieWorld on the Gold Coast is a great place to wear a scar like that – we say we are Batman and have just had a fight with the Joker! Luckily for us, Movieworld is our second home and we often go there for ‘therapy purposes’. Bilateral hand therapy, physio, speech, OT – you name it – we are all over it at MovieWorld!
When we’re out and about I find that kids are very curious about Mikey’s scar – which we love! The more questions the better from kids – otherwise how will they learn about things like this, if they don’t ask questions?
I often think about the amount of stares we get from the general population and just how different it would be if:
- Instead of just staring – STARE WITH A SMILE – it’s much more appealing and you will look less like a deer in headlights which is very off-putting for us when we are getting on with our busy day!
- Have a question? Then just ask! What’s the worst I could do? I might bite your head off if it’s before my morning coffee, but that’s the risk you take. You’re a grown up, you can handle it. Just ask the question, and I bet I will respond with something you didn’t know before asking!
- Have the same scar – come and show us! We had a 30 year old gentleman approach Mikey in our GP rooms recently. We were having a not so great day, and this man came up and spoke directly to Mikey and said – ‘look buddy, I have the same scar as you!’ Mikey gave him a big smile, the guy was overjoyed, and he turned to me and said ‘I hope you don’t mind me asking, I was 21 when I had my brain tumour removed and now I’m 30! How did your son get his scar?’ That interaction gave such a lift to our day, it really helped Mikey with the distraction in that moment when he was struggling and it really helped me too.
I think maybe people have forgotten that it’s ok to ask questions. Tell your children it’s ok to ask questions. Live in the moment. Don’t fret about whether it’s rude or appropriate – consider your child’s age and wonder if it’s your internal critic that is making you feel that way, not your child’s curiosity. Don’t talk about ‘being rude’ in front of my child, because then it seems like HE is the reason you are uncomfortable.
And he isn’t the reason you are uncomfortable, YOU are the reason you are uncomfortable.
So please, if you must stare, stare with a smile