There is a scar on Destroy’s forehead.
It is the lasting result of a WATCH THIS experiment gone awry. (Or at least that’s the story they’re telling us. It very well could have been a curse rebounding upon the evil out to get him. I can assure you, Lilly Potter had nothing on my fierce determination to protect my million dollar miracle muppets. Miracles? Magic? Same thing.)
I have a scar on the bottom of my chin. It’s from some compilation of misdeeds I embarked upon at the same age as my little dudes. I have a faint scar on my cheek from a bravely fought early-age battle with my brother (involving a Lego-like building block as weapon of choice in that particular duel).
These marks tell their own stories of my childhood adventures. (It’s never a disaster; it’s a blog topic.)
PapaG has a scar down his sternum. Thirteen years ago his heart broke. The doctors fixed it with a triple bypass surgery and the scar remains as a reminder. (You can occasionally catch a glimpse of it as he cartwheels around the Lake house. So yeah, he’s fine.)
I have a scar that stretches across the length of my stomach – about 4-inches below my belly button. It is the only visible remnant of Search and Destroy’s early arrival. But it is by no means the only scar prematurity has left behind.
We all have scars. Some are explained by childhood accidents or weekend warrior attempts. Some were inflicted by medical necessity. Some we show off with pride – battle wounds recognized.
But the vast majority we cannot see, although the stories behind such invisible spells can change the course of history.
Am I being overly dramatic? Of course I am. But I do have a point buried within my madness.
Tomorrow is my birthday. Nov. 17 is World Prematurity Awareness Day.
I am no longer the person I was three years ago. 2009. That was the last birthday I celebrated in which the above events were not inexplicably and intimately linked.
Tonight Destroy had a major muppet meltdown – sobbing and screaming in the corner as his round little face turned beet red beneath the tears streaming down his face. I smiled, genuinely happy about the tantrum unfolding in front of me, amid the chaos of toddler toys.
Crying means breathing. We are the lucky ones. I look at my sons and am overwhelmed with awe at the tiny men they are becoming. (“Mommy. I pooped.” So proud.)
Tomorrow I am another year older. Each year there are more than 1 million babies who will never have the opportunity to celebrate a birthday. Around the world, 15 million babies are prematurely born. One in 10. I had two.
My preemies have forever changed me.
My scars – internal and external – continue to shape me. I am learning to embrace them as part of my story. Just as I continue to share the stories behind each new muppet adventure.
A scar does not form on the dying; a scar means, “I survived.”
We are some of the lucky ones. Search and Destroy survived. And in doing so, they taught me to do the same.