I look at myself, at the scars left from years and years ago. Some are faded, others very vibrant. My hands have some that are easy to see, one when I used a knife and cut toward my hand even though I knew better. I had to learn the hard way.
Other scars have faded to nothing. I had three holes put into my left hand when dad and I had played Monkey in the Middle with our dog. She was the Monkey in the Middle as we tossed a ball back and forth. Then the ball and her mouth came down into my hand at the same time. Three holes, almost all the way through. I was two years old. Our dog didn’t mean it, it was an accident, and honestly, it didn’t even hurt, strangely enough. My parents were horrified, of course. That was the end of our game.
I have scars on my knees from climbing trees. Oh, how I used to climb as high as the roof and jump down where my parents couldn’t see me. I have bad feet now, I’m wondering if that’s one of the reasons why.
Then there are the emotional scars. My mom and dad deaths. Dad died first. My divorce to my first husband. Numerous breakups, too many to count. Pets dying or having to get rid of them for one reason or another. Depression at different times in my life.
Of course, there are many more scars of different types, too numerous to list. Now I look at my baby, (oh, and let’s not forget those scars!) innocent, loving, funny, adorable, and I think of how much his daddy and I were daredevils when we were kids and all the scars both of us have, both physical and emotional, and I get scared… no, terrified! He’s going to get hurt, he’s going to get scars, I can’t imagine the terror my parents felt when my hand went into our dog’s mouth. But I’m sure I’ll probably find out one way or another.
I wish I could call my parents and apologize to them for putting them through such pain, seeing me go through what I went through. But my mom’s philosophy was that I had to learn from my own mistakes. No matter what she could possibly say, I had to experience the pain on my own, or otherwise I wouldn’t actually learn anything. She never interfered. She sat and watched, and was always there to pick up the pieces when I needed her, but she let me fly from the nest on her own. How strong she was to do that. I know she worried beyond belief. She was overprotective of me when I was little, in some ways. But in others, she allowed me to experience life and pain, but also happiness and love.
Mom always said, what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. Great, what doesn’t kill you?! Are you kidding me?! What about the broken bones, teeth knocked out, God forbid getting maimed, mental issues, therapy, etc….. Aaarrrggghhh!! I’m not going to survive this motherhood thing. I’m going to curl into a little ball until it’s over. OMG, that’s going to be a long time! Maybe I’ll just put my baby into a protective bubble and not ever let him get hurt…. Of course, then he’ll never experience love and kindness and all the good things in life either. Hmmm… not such a good idea, either. How did my mother do it?! Amazingly she and I both survived. How, I don’t know. But it’s my turn to find out.
Life is a journey, not a destination. And I plan to have a great time with my family on this journey. Oh, we’ll have our hard times, our bad times, and we’ll all get scarred. But we’ll have good times as well and we’ll all be better people in the long run.
Our scars tell stories of our lives. Display them proudly.