And also they have yellow eyeballs.
But that's not the point. The point is that my son will have an awesome scar — something to be proud of.
I didn't always feel this way about scars — my own in particular. I wanted to hide them with Bonne Bell concealer.
But now that I've run out of Bonne Bell concealer, I've had a change of heart. These days when I look at my scars, I see a physical record of the life I've lived.
See that scar on my finger? I can't even remember getting it. But my mom tells me I toddled into the garage of my grandpa's gas station — he was an auto mechanic — where I picked up an oil can and sliced my finger open. While I don't remember the incident, I do remember the garage with its soda machine filled with glass bottles of Squirt and all the old men sitting around shooting the bull as my grandfather worked on the vehicles of Big Piney, Wyo. To this day, the smell of oil on concrete is perfume to me.
When I look at the scars still visible on my right knee, I remember the bicycle accident I had when I was six years old. I ended up with an infection that went systemic and attacked my kidneys, putting me in bed for seven months. Those seven months — when I learned to read and write — changed everything that has happened to me afterward.
And those scars on my right wrist? Well, I did to my wrist what my son did to his collarbone. I was running with my friend Kathy in the high Avenues and right before I tripped over my feet and went down hard on my right side, I remember looking at the wide open sky and the valley below and thinking I had never seen a more beautiful morning.
I had a second surgery a few months later for a tendon transfer to regain the use of my thumb, because thumbs, as it turns out, are necessary. WHO KNEW?
During physical therapy I sat next to man who was patiently picking up marbles and stacking them in a box. When I asked him what he'd done to himself, he explained that he had Parkinson's disease and that he was trying to halt deterioration. I've never forgotten that conversation. There I was, working to regain something. There he was, working to forestall the inevitable.
Scars mean that you have lived. That something painful happened to you.
That somehow you figured out how to keep on going anyway.
Ann Cannon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/anncannontrib.