Hannah's lip repair was two weeks ago. Since that time, I have heard so many comments from so many people. Do you know what my sensitive mama ears have realized? Adjectives matter. They really, really matter.
The change in Hannah since her surgery has been nothing short of remarkable. I catch myself doing double takes--is that really our child? She looks like someone so different to me. The entire shape of her face changed. Her smile radically changed. It seems like we have a new child living in our home. It is odd sometimes. Odd and miraculous and remarkable all rolled into one.
I know many people knew I had mixed emotions about saying goodbye to her beautiful broad smile. I think in effort to help me feel better about her new look, many felt compelled to tell me how wonderful she looked, despite the crusted blood, days old bloody booger we didn't dare extract, and the five day old peaches puree she was sporting as a mustache. Everyone kept saying how wonderful she looked and we would shake our heads like they were crazy. Uhhhh...we know it is going to look wonderful, but do y'all see the chunk of macaroni and cheese hanging from her lip that she won't let me wipe??
As some of the crust started to come off (thank you, wonderful Dr. L, for truly knowing your stuff and having us put her in the shower--crust removal made easy!!), I began to really let myself hear what people were saying to me. I was starting to get glimpses of what she was going to look like; the finished product. So I really began to listen to what people said and that is when I realized just how much adjectives matter.
Yes, Hannah looks drastically different. Yes, her face has changed. A lot. Yes, her new quirky post-cleft smile is growing on me. Yes, she is beautiful. But let me caution you as you talk to a parent who has gone through something like this with a child related to their appearance. Please, please, please don't tell them that their child looks better. Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely certain I have made and likely will make this mistake when talking to someone about their child. It is a common error and and easy word to let slide off your tongue. Better. Instead, please feel free to tell me that she looks wonderful, that she is beautiful, that the change is quite remarkable (because it is), but please don't tell me she looks better. While she needed her lip repaired for optimal health, in our eyes, she did not require the repair to improve the beauty of her creation.
Yes, the transformation is remarkable:
She looks so different and as she heals, we are amazed with the outcome. Her surgeon was incredibly skilled. Her surgeon was remarkable. She is remarkable. Yet more remarkable is our Heavenly Father whose divine design in the human body allows surgery like this to take place and healing to miraculously occur.
So if you run into me out and about, feel free to comment. The change truly is remarkable.