"Stop staring at him!"
I want to scream it to the world every day. To the man in the trucker hat at the gas station. To the little black lady at the grocery store. To the lady who has perfect hair at the nail salon. To the little boy wearing Spiderman swimtrunks at the waterpark.
"Just stop staring at him!"
I haven't spoken about this before online.
So this is new territory. For most of you.
But, it is something that is frustrating me to my very core. And I feel like I need to voice my feelings, as well as just ask for prayer.
If you have been hanging around these parts very long at all, then you know this little guy.
Meet Keaton. My 9 year old (in 3 days). Counting the months I held him in my belly, I have known this little person for close to a decade. Unbelievable. A decade full of precious laughs, smiles, and tears.
And my precious Keaton is perfect to me.
So my heart breaks for him. Because of this.
You see, Keaton has Vitiligo....a skin disorder which basically boils down to the fact that some of his pigment cells don't produce pigment, therefore leaving portions of his skin white.
This disorder is not harmful; it is purely a cosmetic issue, which we praise Jesus for every day.
But my heart breaks for my child. Because he has an imperfection....that is only skin deep.
I hate it when people look at him and their eyes drift immediately to his leg. I hate that people stare. I hate that kids ask him if he has a disease. I hate that sometimes adults are even more cruel than that. I hate it that in his prayers he asks his Jesus to take the spots away. I hate that his child heart is fearful that the spots will spread to his face.
I hate feeling like Keaton was cheated. Like I was cheated. Because I know that as I type this there are mothers who don't know if their children will even live through the night. And that there are mothers who are grieving the fact that their children will never live a life that will be filled with what we all call normal. And that there are mothers whose hearts are heavy because they haven't yet been blessed with a child to call their own.
But I can't not voice my feelings any longer. I feel selfish. And insensitive. And greedy. But I made a promise to always be transparent and real on this blog, and I'm lying if I say that I'm okay that Keaton lives every day with questions as to why God made him have spots. And I'm lying if I tell you that I'm okay with being the mom of a kid with spots. I'm not.
It hurts that my child is the one that others stare at.
It hurts that the doctors can't tell me what causes it.
It hurts that there is nothing we can do.
It hurts that there are kids who are cruel enough to exclude him because he is different.
I've cried many a tear over those darn spots. I hate them. I have screamed "Why?" more times than I can count.
Because those spots matter.
They matter to my baby's heart. They hurt his feelings. They hurt his esteem. They hurt his heart.
And I'm doing everything I can to reassure him of his Father's love for him so that those darn spots don't hurt his faith.
Because when you are 9, God is supposed to answer prayer.
And so far, God hasn't answered his.
Because the spots are still there. Every morning, they are still there.
My bitterness is still fresh. My tears still flow freely. And my frustration and anger is still very close to the surface. I'm doing my best to not show Keaton my hatred of his spots. To make our lives normal. To pretend like the stares at the swimming pool don't bother me. To not weep when he prays to Jesus that He won't let the spots get on his face.
But, I ask you for prayer. Prayer for healing, sure. But even more than that, prayer for Keaton's heart. That he will find himself drawing close to the One who created that perfect skin of his. To the One that knows those spots inside-and-out. And to the One that loves Keaton more than even this mama does.