Put a Smile on This Mama Bear's Face



See that flyer posted on my fridge? That is the flyer that was sent out to a lot of people informing them of camps available for children, mothers/daughters, sons/fathers, etc, this coming year at the camp we go to each summer. Do you see that picture in the upper left-hand corner? That's MY boy, affectionately known as Orange Boy here.

I take lots of pictures at camp of my kids (of course) and random pictures of campers. Last summer, the staff asked if they could make copies from our memory cards to use for slideshows, etc. Unbeknownst to me, they used my picture of my boy for this flyer. It's not the fact that my picture was used, it is the fact that they chose my boy - the boy who has a prominent birth mark on his left cheek - specifically a Portwine Stain birthmark right smack in the middle of his face - and made that the largest picture on the flyer. Do you get what I'm talking about? This is the kid who gets stopped in public all the time with strangers saying, "Who beat you up?" "Wow, what happened to you?" "Did your sister do that to your face?" I have had a police officer ask me what happened to him (and then went to a neighbor to verify). Countless (yes, countless) medical professionals have asked what happened to his cheek. This is something that is very noticeable, yet someone at camp decided that his face was worthy enough for the picture to be blown up and used as an advertisement for camp.

So, when talking to Orange Boy, he mentioned to me that he was surprised that they used his picture because of his birthmark. I told him that they probably never even noticed the birthmark - that the excitement shown on his eyes and face is what made them choose this picture. What a gift they gave my son (and his teary-eyed mama).

PS - We are aware that there is treatment available for Portwine Stain. It would require numerous laser treatments. The treatments cause scabbing and staying out of the sun for days. At this point, Orange Boy has decided that he is not interested. The ball is in his court and we will support whatever decision he chooses.

I've told him over the years that God must have been kissing him an awful lot on that cheek because it is sooooo soft. I sure love this kid.

Here's the original:

Megan  – (1/03/2009 12:04 PM)  

I never even noticed the port wine stain - just how handsome he is!!

Tina  – (1/04/2009 6:53 AM)  

His face is perfect for the flyer! He looks so satisfied and happy. That great expression is the most noticeable thing on his face.

heather@it'stwinsanity  – (1/04/2009 5:55 PM)  

That is a beautiful picture! I had never even noticed the birthmark before until you pointed it out in this post!

trisha –   – (1/05/2009 9:39 AM)  

I'm like the others--didn't notice the birthmark either. There's a kid in my son's class who has a huge birthmark on his face (cheek area). Without a doubt, he is the MOST outgoing and probably confident kid in his grade. He plays every sport he can, makes excellent grades and extremely popular((very competitive). I almost think his birthmark is his "trademark." One of these days, I would like to ask his momma how they have responded when he was little when he questioned them about his birthmark--to hear how they have put such a positive spin on it. Honestly, it's hard to imagine him without his birthmark now. It's a part of who he is and he's wonderful.

There's NOTHING wrong with his face or your son's.

Jodi  – (1/05/2009 6:17 PM)  

What an honor for both of you!! In all the pictures I have seen on your blog I have never noticed the birthmark.

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