When We Thought About Treating Baby Addy’s Port Wine Stain…
When a parent ponders whether or not to treat their child’s port wine stain (or any other malformation), they face a conundrum: they’re making a decision *for* their child that will have a HUGE impact on that kid’s emotional development, self-image, self-esteem, and school experience… annnd there’s a slim chance that their child will eventually hate them for it. (So, I guess it’s the same as most of our parenting decisions… Hm.)
A) If we treat this, then she won’t get made fun of as much in school – yay! But then again, maybe someday she’ll hate us for taking away a distinguishing mark that was rightfully hers…? B) If we leave it so that she alone can decide its fate when she’s older, then the damage will be done, both physical (as it may have grown too thick to treat completely) and emotional (as she will have already endured early childhood with immature classmates and the inevitable questions and teasings).
So there we are, with the fate of our daughter’s face in our hands. Obviously, we’ve decided to zap it off. (And we don’t regret it.) We’ll either get a sincere “Whew, thank you, Mom and Dad, for thoughtfully removing the mask so that people can see the true beauty of my face! I’m so glad I get to look like everyone else at prom!” …Or, we’ll get a dramatic “I CAN’T beliEVE you took away the ONE THING that made me unique! Now NO ONE will EVER notice me!” and then she’ll run upstairs and slam her bedroom door and blast whatever emo music the teenagers will be listening to at that point.