Scars and Photoshop {For Ellie}

I don't edit out scars.

My six year old's baby photos look odd to me.  She doesn't look like herself without the now-faint line down her chest, a remnant of the life-saving open heart surgery performed when she was just five and a half months old.

Questions about Ellie's scar used to be a frequent part of summer, but the questions are fewer and fewer these days.  The scar has become less noticeable.  

I don't edit out scars.  

Ellie is six.  She has zero recollection of her surgery and hospital stay.  She knows that the doctors fixed her heart, and that her heart repair requires her to have annual EKGs.  And she knows that she has a "zipper," and she knows that she's brave.

I have scars, too.  Most noticeably (just not photographed!), I have a long c-section scar marking the births of my children.  

Scars mark us, and I won't edit them out for Ellie's sake.

I want her to know she is beautiful, not in spite of her scar, but with her scar.

I edit out temporary scratches and scrapes.  I'm happy to whiten your teeth or get rid of a few flyaway hairs.  But I won't take off pounds or remove anything permanent, because people are beautiful, regardless of whether or not they match the description of a supermodel.

Ellie's scar is a sign of strength and resilience.  She came home from the hospital four days after heart surgery on Tylenol, and I will never cease to be amazed by her toughness!