The girls were restless tonight and I really wanted to get them out of the house. Our usual parks are always very busy and Jael's blood counts are way down so they were out. I remembered a park in Port Orange near ball fields that only ever had a small handful of kids playing at them when we went.
We had so much fun! Swinging on swings, sliding down slides. It was great. There are two parks. One for younger kids and one for older kids. Jael asked if we could go to the older playground area. There were a few boys playing there, as well. After some swinging on the big swings Jael decided to go climb up the playground set where these boys were. When she got to the top they started staring at her head and I told them about what happened to her. One of the boys said, "ew." Then this one kid said very loudly, "Her head is disgusting." I instantly saw her joy get knocked out of her. She wanted to be held right away and we left. (We were planning on leaving anyways.) I told the boy that what he said was not nice and he tried to recover, but the damage was done. When we got in the car I said to Jael, "You know your head is beautiful." Her response, "Not it's not." I asked why and she said because of her owies! What??? I was totally convinced that she was unaware of her physical appearance through all of this. I kept telling her she was beautiful and she kept saying that she was not. I wasn't sure if she was completely understanding what she was saying so I asked her, "Do you think your head is disgusting?" And she said yes. I was shattered. I cried openly and told her that it broke my heart that she didn't think she was beautiful because of her owies.
I turned the music up and called Jess to recount the story. While telling her Jael joyfully yells from the back seat, "My head is beautiful mommy!" :-) Not sure if she was trying to say what I wanted to hear...I just hope that she believes me. I've said it a hundred times since then and will say it a hundred times more. Cancer sucks. Stealing my daughters confidence in her beauty long before she should even be aware that it matters to this world.