Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Looking past the different
Our daughter was born with a top layer of skin that doesn't work. So every day, we make it work for her.
We protect her from bacteria with constant hand washing and bleach baths. We keep her skin hydrated by coating her with Aquaphor to keep it moist. We monitor the temperature in her environment and dress her appropriately because her skin cannot keep her warm or cool her down by sweating. We rub her dead skin layers off in her bath because her body cannot shed skin quickly enough as it makes it.
Brenna's skin doesn't work, and that gives her a unique appearance, one that can be most easily relatable as a sunburn - deep red with dry and flaky skin all over her body.
When you see Brenna, her skin is probably the first thing that stands out to you.
She wears a hat often, but without a hat, you may also notice patches of white-blond hair that start not at her forehead but at the top of her head, thin at first and thicker wispy hair in the back.
If you examine further, you'll notice very sparse hair where her eyebrows and eyelashes should be. You'll notice fingers that are shortened in length and don't fully extend. You'll realize her ears are small and attached to her head.
However, if you look even more closely, past the red skin and the missing hair and the deformed fingers, you'll see zest for life.
You'll see sassy and sweet and passion for her family.
You'll see independence and cautious of new things and love of outdoors, animals and babies.
That's when you'll really see Brenna.
When looking at someone's exterior, you can sometimes forget that behind the "different" is a person just like you, with feelings, dreams, insecurities, passions, interests and families. Families and friends who love them very much, who don't even notice the different because the different actually isn't so different after all. And if you look past the "different,"past the exteriors, that's when you will truly see people.