Thursday, April 19, 2012

Big boy with an infectious smile

You probably know that our youngest son was born with 6 birth defects. Also, that we were not of any of them during my pregnancy. The only on that we knew of right away was a cleft lip. We were lucky, it was very mild. Of course, he was beautiful just the way he was. As his mother I felt sad and worried about how he would be treated. People are not very accepting of physical differences. Kids can be mean and I didn't want my little boy to have to deal with that kind of cruelty. Then it occurred to me that the cleft would have to be repaired. My baby was going to have to have surgery. At the beginning all I knew about clefts came from commercial, pamphlets etc. that were meant to raise awareness. A million images, mostly of children with much more serious conditions than Owen's. Still, I had no idea what would be involved. How many surgeries would he have? How would certain things like eating be after a surgery like that? How would it heal? What kind of scar would he have.

I do have a point, so let me get to it. Today marks the three year anniversary of Owen's surgery to repair his cleft lip. He was 9 months old. Owen has always had an unbelievably amazing and infections smile. People everywhere would comment on his smile. Even before it was "fixed". Before long the cleft was not something I noticed at all. The boy has always had a huge personality. It was the most amazing lesson I've ever learned about unconditional love.