My oldest was playing on the carpet the other day at church. He was just scooting around on the floor when Randall looked up and saw that he had a huge rug burn across his face. He didn’t fall or trip, he just dragged his eye and forehead across the floor until it left a mark.
His hair covered up most of the burn marks but Isaac was proud of his scabs. He would lift up his hair often to show others what he’d done. He made up all kinds of stories as to how he got the burn. He and his brother were fighting on the carpet, or he tripped and fell, or took a running dive to escape the singe of Darth Maul’s light saber…
When the scabs started to heal, he would scratch and pick at them . I told him not to pick at it because it would scar. Within that hour, all of the scabs were gone.
We ran into a girl from his first grade class and he immediately started lifting his hair to show her where the scabs had been. I told him to tell her “hello” but instead he only said, “I have a scar.”
I shrugged all of that off, not realizing how proud he was of his scar until the first day of Summer School yesterday. He woke up and came down to breakfast looking like this:
He had taken a pink marker to his face because his scar had already faded. I tried to wash it off. After much soap and scrubbing, I could not get his face clean. He went to school with a faded pink line over his eye.
Okay, maybe it’s not just boys. I remember when I was in kindergarten, I was showing off on the swing set in front of my older sister and her friend when I fell off and broke my collar bone. I had to wear a soft brace for a few weeks and I remember flaunting that brace at Show and Tell week after week at school. I remember another little girl had stepped on a nail and had to get a tetanus shot, she showed off her scars for Show and Tell that year, too.
So what is it about kids that makes them proud of their scars?
I think what they’re most proud of is conquering the pain. They’re left with proof that they had won the battle over the pain.
Or maybe it’s like Tina Fey says, “a miniature form of celebrity.”
You get attention from it. People ask you about the story and you get a chance to tell your story! Maybe kids are just looking for a chance to tell a good story and a scar gives them that opportunity.
God, may I make an effort to show more interest in my kids. I always ask them about their day and what happened at school, etc. But going to school isn’t always a good story to tell in their eyes. May I give my kids opportunities to truly create good stories and more opportunities to tell me all about their stories. Teach me to ask better questions and delve deeper into their lives and their interests and love them well. But may we never forget that we can love our scars because you have healed them. Thank you for redeeming our stories and giving us hope that we will one day see the scars on your son that saved all of our lives.