As any girl will tell you, the teenage years are hard and sometimes downright suck. The past year has been especially difficult for my daughter. Her knees required one more surgery to remove the appliances repressing her growth plates for almost two years. We were able to do the surgery in the summer before school started, but opening up the old scars made them even more puckered and noticeable. Embarrassed, she wears pants, a lot. But being a swimmer, she has to trade in those pants for a leg revealing swimsuit at least five times a week, if not more.
This past week a group of high school boys at the pool noticed her knees and decided to pounce. Over and over they brought up the scars on the inside of her knees, calling them grotesque and hideous. Some of them even accused her of cutting her body for attention.
It was a quiet car ride home that day from the pool. When she finally came clean and told me what happened, part of me thought about driving back and punching every single one of those boys in the face. But I’ve learned over the years that running around demanding every wrong be met with justice is exhausting and seldom changes anyone’s behavior.
Instead, I pointed to her knees. “To me, those scars are a miracle. We were able to fix your knees without many, many surgeries. You can walk, and even run now without hardly any pain. I promise if you focus on the good things those scars brought, the taunts of others will fade, just like these scars will fade over time.”
I don’t show many pictures of my children, but, just help the reader understand, I’ve attached the before and after surgery pictures of my daughter’s legs.