My boy with the crooked smile

cd7625e03bc5a26921beb670b94fe0b3 My boy with the crooked smileI’ve held my baby boy Jarvis in my arms now for nearly as long as I held him inside me.

Alongside the exhaustion of sleep deprivation and muscle ache from climbing the steep learning curve of mothering, I have been lugging a bag of emotions that weigh heavy on my shoulders and threaten to spill out at the most unlikely of places.

Anger, guilt, resentment, fear, worry and self-pity. I feel them all regularly and intensely. Even in the moments of sheer joy, they are still there. That sheer-shot of guilt from the corner of my beautiful boy’s smile.

My baby boy has facial nerve palsy. Present since birth, it means the right side of his face has little movement. His right eye doesn’t blink, his right brow doesn’t furrow and the right side of his mouth doesn’t open as wide as his left. It was first thought it was caused by pressure during birth and that it would resolve, but now it seems it is here to stay.

I really can’t imagine him any other way, but at times I ache for what he will never know, feel responsible for what he has and wonder if a choice I made resulted in this. The fact is, I will never know. Facial palsy, I have since discovered, is just one of those things. One of those things I never knew about, and most people don’t ever know about. While coming to terms with this, I remind myself it’s not that bad. There are worse afflictions and worse fates. He is a healthy and happy boy and will grow into a healthy and happy adult but I know that he faces challenges ahead. The challenge of growing up a little different. And as a family we face challenges, of arming him with a healthy self-esteem that will shield him from taunts, an openness to respond to people’s curiosity and a generosity of spirit to accept others as they are.

But some days I don’t feel up to the task. I withdraw. I get annoyed when well-meaning people make comments about his face not ‘looking that bad’ as I demure and agree. I hold back from telling a person not to touch his face like that, as they push his unblemished forehead into a frown for him. I just smile as another shop assistant laughs and says that he winked at them. But deep down I get that feeling again, a deep primal protectiveness laced with all those negative emotions that I turn on myself. It feels heavy.

But then how quickly lightness descends, a stranger says “what a beautiful boy” and I beam for him. He fixes me with a gaze, blue eyes shining with all the trust in the world and in that moment I know that he’ll be okay. That we’ll be okay. My boy with the crooked smile and me.

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Comments

  1. says

    Your last paragraph was my favo[u]rite. It reminded me of happiness… and joy. Maybe a little relief, but I”ll prefer to call it by the first two adjectives. Positivity is a powerful thing. :-)

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

  2. says

    He is beautiful. That’s the first thing I thought before I read anything, and the last thing I thought after I read everything.

    We all have difference we have to work out with the world, whether visible or not. You’re going to be an amazing mother and he’ll turning out amazing too. And that’s not just something, that’s everything.

    Ali – New Mom too to Rome, almost 10 months

  3. says

    I know it’s hard when ours aren’t “absolutely “perfect” but he is gorgeous!
    My friend has facial palsy and it took me months to realize there was something different about her face. I just thought she was so cute. She’s married has kids and is a lawyer. Can anyone convince you at this early point that it really isn’t a big deal????
    Read my post that I’ve linked for you and maybe that will help. Bless you and your little treasure!

    http://gmomj.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/questions-we-never-dare-ask/

  4. says

    What a little sweety! Your words …”as a family we face challenges, of arming him with a healthy self-esteem that will shield him from taunts, an openness to respond to people’s curiosity and a generosity of spirit to accept others as they are” are exactly what your son needs. My son Andy, now age 22, has Down syndrome and we vowed as you have to raise him to be a happy, healthy kid. He turned out to be a charmer as I’m sure your son will be. Well, he already is! Keep up the good work… North Coast Muse @ http://sally1029.wordpress.com

  5. says

    What a sensitive honest post.
    It’s a heartbreak to have a less-than-perfect baby.

    YES comments by strangers can be HIGHLY ANNOYING!
    I suggest you have some ready responses and be as kind as possible ;-)
    Most of us mean well. It’s better than being ignored, as many handicapped people are.

    Jarvis is your firstborn? That makes it even harder. Parenting is such a journey — get on the horse, learn to ride as best you can and see where it leads you.

  6. Rita Vanbeber says

    Your son is BEAUTIFUL. God made him special for a reason. Love him and stop thinking about what others do. God made him and will protect him.

  7. says

    He is a beautiful baby! People just don’t know what to say when they see “different”… and they say or do what they think is right.
    nice post, and congrats on freshly pressed.

  8. says

    What a wonderful piece. I’m not a mother, yet, but your love for your son (and a beautiful boy he is) brings tears to my eyes. Growing up a little different teaches strength of character and having the support of your mother makes that possible.

  9. says

    had i not read the full entry i never would have thought anything of ur beautiful boy. when i saw his pic on the front page i thought “wow … another chubby little fellow just like my boy”. i read the title and had to look really hard for the crookedness. i just thought to myself that babies have such varied facial expressions.

    i dont know what to say to make u feel better because i know the guilt is hard to shake even when logically you know better.

  10. says

    You have a beautiful baby boy…and your strength to write this article will help others who face similar “unknown” daily challenges.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Nick

  11. says

    What a cutie! He is adorable. Although it is different, I can relate. I was attacked by a dog and my lip is now a little different looking as well. I get really upset when people say I don’t look “that bad” and that you can barely tell. Well before the bite you couldn’t tell. It is weird to just not be “normal”. But in the end it is about your spirit and personality and by looking at the smile, I can tell he is going to be just fine :)

  12. ghammer says

    Jean Chretien, one of our Canadian Prime Ministers (don’t know if you’re Canadian or not) has a facial paralysis and has had it most of his life as far as I know. I think your little boy, who is adorable by the way, will do just fine in his life as well!

  13. says

    You son is truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing so openly about your fears — I’m afraid to have a baby because I have so many, but it’s encouraging to know that, even when things don’t feel 100 percent great, it’s possible to still be a great mom, as I’m sure you are. Thanks again.

  14. says

    Even with the crooked smile he is a beautiful little boy who looks like he still has a lot of joy in his life. Do not feel bad for what has happened, do not have guilt that it could have been caused by you. Things like this happen. I was born with migraines that cause me to have strokes. My dad gets migraines and he blamed himself for this, which he shouldn’t. It’s something I live with, and deal with, and know that I can waste time feeling bad about myself, or I can live life to the fullest and embrace that I’m different. That isn’t a bad thing. You two will go through many struggles with this, but in the end, it’s all worth it, because he will learn how to have a normal life, even with 1/2 a face not fully functioning. Good luck, live and love life to the fullest. He is a beautiful baby, with a beautiful smile.

  15. says

    He is a beautiful boy. My daughter is 11 months and although she doesn’t have facial nerve palsy we have been faced with other issues. I understand and sympathize with you on how you said that you questioned if it was something that you done. I still do, but I tell myself now that this question is both a curse and a sign of a good parent who wants nothing but the best for their child.
    As for people’s comments that’s another parent’s curse. “Well meaning” stranger will comment on anything and everything. People seem to know no boundaries with babies.
    Good luck to you and your beautiful little boy.

  16. William says

    I just caught this post on “Freshly Pressed”. Very well written.
    :)

    He is a good looking kid, for sure. It could be the camera but he looks like a big one too… a strapping lad in the making maybe?

    I imagine the best you could do is not shelter him. My younger brother has an amazing group of friends and to say they look out for eachother would be an understatement. Any time one of them is given a hard time the rest rally around and stand up for them. Great to see and it’s worked wonders for their confidence. I still remember them all as 5-year old kids at his birthday parties.

    As you quite rightly say, of all the things that could have been this isn’t the worst. With a good group of friends and a supportive family who let him experience the world as any other might he’ll be just fine. Looks, mistaken winks and more besides will be normal to him, if you can help him understand why they happen I’m sure he’ll grow up to be as good as he looks and as I sad… he’s a good looking kid! ;)

  17. mikelambert says

    He is certainly a handsome fellow and your adventures with him are just beginning. In the great universe of ripples across perfect, beautiful, brilliant,straight, ambulatory,sighted, you are lucky. Run with it.
    Mike

  18. says

    My son (now 7) was born with “one of those things”. In our case it was Bilateral Congenital Radio Ulnar Synostosis. Simply put, his wrists don’t twist,

    He was 4 by the time we reached a diagnosis and when the doctor told us what it was, and the fact he would always be that way, it really really hurt. I’m a grown man but it really knocked the wind out of me.

    Was it something we did during pregnancy? Was it something before? Could we have done something different? I really feel for the emotions you are facing right now.

    But you know what?

    He is now 7. He is bright, he is doing really well at school (top of his class), is popular and is really enjoying life. OK so he can’t catch a ball and there are going to be things he will never be able to do but he has known nothing else and because of that he has just learnt to live with this.

    Sure he holds his cup differently but this does not stop him holding a cup.

    Sometimes when being shown how to do something somebody will say “no, hold your hand this way round” and of course the answer is “he can’t” and sometimes that tugs a little.

    But it does not bother him and is not holding him back. Sure he is different but we have never treated him so and now he is just a normal 7 year old kid that has loads of friends and loves life. It does not bother him and these days it does not bother us either. He is living a very full life.

    So don’t beat yourself up. Even if it was something you did you can’t change it now. It’s one of those things but please don’t over compensate either.

    So he looks a bit different. So what! I have a big nose but that did not stop me getting on in the world and even ginger people can make a success of life (sorry if you are ginger).

    Everybody is different in some way and yes kids can be cruel at times but help him understand why he is “special” and as you say yourself:

    He is a healthy and happy boy and will grow into a healthy and happy adult

    If you don’t make a big deal out of it, then he won’t and so when somebody does make a comment, that won’t be a big deal either.

    • says

      Hi Mark, thanks for sharing this. Great to hear how well your son is doing. Your message gives me hope and inspiration. And I had to laugh at your ginger comment, as I am in fact a ginger – but only with the help of a bottle.

    • says

      Mark: My partner is “ginger”. When he was a small child people often complimented his Mum on how clever he was, or how polite, but sometimes they’d end with “Isn’t it a SHAME he’s ginger though!” – totally ignoring the fact that she had red hair too.

      I know you are joking but even now we get people who shout things at him (probably 1/3 of the times we leave the house). It gets OLD fast.

      ***********************************************************

      Savemumsanity: I think your little boy is cute and awesome. I know you will bring him up to be strong and I hope he takes life by the horns and enjoys every moment. x

  19. Monnie says

    Hi. I have the same appearance, only mine is due to parotid cancer which was the result of radiation treatments when I was 9 years old. The nonblinking and crooked smile did not begin to materialize until I was 27, when the mutated tissue began strangling my 7th cranial nerve. Despite numerous doctor visits and CT scans, there was no diagnosis other than degenerative nerve paralysis. For which I was given some exercises. At age 50, the cancer was discovered and excised, but my face will never be the same. I hate having my picture taken.

    With this in mind, you may want to go to a neurologist to see if your son’s parotid is to blame, even though he hasn’t had radiation. Also, a reconstructive surgeon would probably be able to test the facial nerve to see if it could be replaced with a nerve from another part of his face or neck or leg. One never knows.

    However, he is a beautiful boy and always will be. I only suggested the possibility of surgery in thinking of the future and how cruel school children can be when someone is different. If you treat him as though nothing is wrong, then it isn’t. He is blessed to have a great mom.

  20. whatsupwiththat says

    He is a beautiful boy and of course he’ll be even better than okay and he is so lucky to have you for a mum. I just found your blog today and have only read this post so far but wanted to share that much of my family has a crooked smile. My dad always sported one and seeing your son’s picture made me miss him and that special smile. Thanks for sharing and staring me of this morning with pleasant memories of my dad.

  21. says

    I clicked on your son’s picture on the wordpress.com home page without reading a single tag line and without noticing any diferences.

    He is beautiful and super cute and completely bright-eyed.

    My son was also born with muscle stiffness and paralysis (albeit temporary) on his left side. He had a traumatic birth and the lack of oxygen and strain on his body caused severe muscle damage. We were lucky his central nervous system was not permanently damaged.

    With PT and OT we have thankfully come to a place where really I am only able to tell there is a “delay” but again, we were lucky.

    I remember when he was a baby and he kept his left arm clenched to his chest and he couldn’t look to his left side, I ached for normalcy. When he couldn’t roll, they told me he may never walk, when he couldn’t unclench his left hand they told me he may never throw a ball.

    People would say the most inconsiderate things but sometimes, when I was very lucky, a complete stranger would come up to me and tell me how beautiful my child was. It was those comments that would give me strength to keep positive. Even if it was just in that moment.

    I hope you have at least a few of those moments when you need them the most.

    Good luck!

    Maija

    http://www.maijasmommymoments.wordpress.com

  22. says

    Your little boy is absolutely adorable, and while difficult, it is something both he and you can live with and otherwise be happy and healthy.

    Hugs!

  23. says

    You have a loving, compassionate but realistic understanding of the challenges for both of you.

    I have a 13 year old that was born 3 months early. Physically she is doing fine now, but she is developmentally delayed. When she was younger I would hear about how she will “catch up” and all would be well. I’d say nothing at all because I knew that it was not so. I also asked myself if it was my fault she came early. She is adored by us and many others because she is warm, loving, and friendly to everyone.

    What strangers say and do is their way of saying that it is okay and that he is precious just the way he is.

    There is a God in Heaven and he will bless you both as you walk through this experience. When you feel discouraged, overwhelmed or negative, just look at his face and see how adorable he really is.

  24. elizabethre says

    I had to log in to my wordpress blog and so it took me to the WordPress home page. As I typed in my username and password I saw a picture of a beautiful baby. I love babies ! As I read your blog post I wondered why a the mom of such a cutie would feel the weight of the world on her shoulders. Then I got to the part where you mentioned your anger ending with the word guilt. I guess it’s always going to be that way. We mothers always feel like it’s our fault when something happens or is deemed wrong. My son was a fussy eater and was under weight most of his childhood. I had him to all sorts of Consultant Docs and hospitals. They would tell me there was nothing wrong with him. He was just small. And he would eat when he was hungry. It didn’t help me one iota. I always felt like people were staring at me and figuring I was a bad mother. It was awful. Add to that the fact he was always crying and holding onto me for the first five years and I was a basket case. As it turned out all those docs hadn’t a clue. He was allergic to the milk and baby food I was feeding him. We didn’t find this out until he was sixteen years old! He was alergy tested to find out what caused his asthma and it showed a whole list of allergies. Needless to say he is now (at 25) a 170lb-er :)

    All that to say, don’t let the docs conclusion rob you of your strength and hope. You never know what tomorrow might bring. And bottom line, he is a beautiful boy. ( But you know that already :) )

  25. says

    i love this! i have cerebral palsy and i am the mom of 2 boys. they are completely different, challenging and amazing in their own ways. your boy will be a beautiful reflection of your HONEST love and concern for him. he’ll know you are a safe place to share his secrets when the world isn’t kind. i have faith that you are up for this amazing journey and your baby boy will be a gorgeous man both inside and out because of your love!!!!!!

    http://traceygjones.wordpress.com

  26. says

    Good Luck to you and your son. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. It is hard being a new mother though wonderful. I wish you much strength. Love yourself and your son…he will always be beautiful to you he is YOUR baby, for ever!!Don’t be so hard on yourself, all mother’s doubt themselves. it’s only natural. Every time either one of my boys had any ache or pain I blamed it upon myself, it is only natural for the mother, the nurturer, but we need love too. Look to your inner strength, your God or Goddess for help when you really need it. God Bless!! And he is a CUTIE!!!!!!!!!!!Take Care ALWAYS!!!

    evelyngarone.com

  27. says

    I am sorry that your son will have to deal with this, and sorry that you as a mother have to deal with hurtful comments from mostly well meaning adults. But, most mothers deal with random upsetting comments from people, in some way or another. I am not saying it is the same. But.. it’s there. Every mother’s experience is unique and to varying degrees. Everyone has a comment about something. I am not trying to minimize your experience (not at all). I am just saying I think nearly all mothers go through upsetting comments from others one way or another. And if your son didn’t have facial palsy, trust me people would just be getting under your skin about something different. ;) Because that’s how people are. :)
    Thus is life as a mommy. At the most annoying times just try to maintain the confidence in yourself and your parenting.
    Hang in there momma! And your little boy IS adorable. :)

  28. says

    I just want to say, I didn’t look here because of the blog title, but because of how adorable your son is. After I read the entry and looked at the title did I understand. I know motherhood is difficult in general, but you are lucky to have such a handsome little boy. His smile may be crooked, but it undeniably a smile, and is therefore very beautiful. I hope things come easier to you in the future.

  29. says

    wow……that was so well done lady! I too have a wonderful boy, he’s now 6 foot 3 inches, and 190 pounds. He will always be my baby, there is nothing quite like a son. Our bond is amazing….I love him with everything I’ve got to give…..so I understand.
    Luvs, Deb

  30. says

    What a beautiful boy! He looks so happy in his adorable little hoodieee :)
    Sorry, I can’t keep myself from reverting to baby talk, even when typing. I guess it’s never easy growing up different, but it probably helps when your parents are genuinely concerned with your well-being. You sound like a great mom; even the greatest moms don’t feel up to task sometimes.

  31. says

    you have a gorgeous son. your post was on the freshly pressed homepage on wordpress, and i clicked it solely because of how gorgeous your little boy is. what a joy in this world =) happy weekend

  32. adamgust says

    He looks like such a sweet little guy!
    I enjoyed this post. I truly believe that if we have the love of God in our hearts and we trust in him, he will show us how our unique hardships are all
    truly blessings in disguise.
    I do not have any physical ailments but I did grow up with a rather large mole
    above my lip on the right side. I have never liked it. at times it made me feel
    like it was the only thing holding me from, say…having a certain girl be attracted to me, not being chosen for a modeling gig when I was a teenager, or simply people always making comments about it when we first met.
    Because of this I have often felt like I must go to greater measures to somehow prove myself.
    Long story short, dating was never a problem, and now I have the most amazing and beautiful wife, a blossoming art career, and nothing holding me back from achieving the same and if not more than the ‘next’ guy.
    God has been too good to me, even though as a young kid I felt kind of second rate, and intimidated. Even if you are not a religious person, I think it’s worth noting how our supposed sort-comings can become our greatest strengths,
    And we sure need our wonderful parents to be there to encourage us. :)

    I still have my large mole, slightly hidden underneath a beard at times now.
    Maybe I’ll get it removed. Maybe not. It doesn’t really matter.

    -Adam

  33. says

    Throughout the day, as I’ve logged into WordPress, Jarvis’ smile has greeted me on the Freshly Pressed page, he is a beautiful boy and his gorgeous smile has brightened my day no end.

  34. says

    Your baby boy is absolutely precious and beautiful. Don’t ever let anyone make you think/feel otherwise (because he is, truly, GORGEOUS! His blue eyes sparkle and he has such a sweet face). If you’re uncomfortable with other people touching his face tell them! I don’t let random people touch my 10 month old’s face either. -Heather (purebebe)

  35. says

    Congratulations on being a mother! I am not yet, but can only imagine. What I do know, from friends with children who may be growing up with challenges, is that the more you can treat them like the normal and beautiful beings they are, the stronger they are, because they know no different. You have a lovely writing style, and an even lovelier baby boy! All the best!

  36. jack says

    Wow very…ummm touching.I always wondered what people (mothers) think of something like that of course you woud say it is a blessing and it will always be a Fantasic story to tell to people that “my son is a blessing no matter what is wrong wit him” because deep in side you,your saying i have my faults and my wrongs and things that are wrong with me but then again you and your son and every one else has issues to the same as your “Boy with the crokked smile”.

  37. says

    He is a beautiful boy! I enjoyed your post–your honesty about dealing with your son’s issue. But he’s perfectly himself and will probably charm everyone with that “crooked smile.”

  38. Lita says

    Hello,
    your little boy is so adorable!
    What kind of physiotherapy have you been trying?
    My mother had facial paresis about 3 years ago, had been tested in any way you can think of. No one of the doctors had a clue what caused it and how to treat this.
    She could not see, walk or talk properly and had no mimic for months. It was very hard on her – as she is a very vivid and active person.

    She consulted any kind of specialist and no one could even try a prognosis. Before they asked her to a very invasive test I suggested to see an osteopath who helped me with my disc prolapse.

    She went there and after 20 minutes all the symptoms were gone.
    We were stunned, as you can imagine.
    It took 2 more treatments as after-care and it never came back.

    So I wish you and your boy all the best!
    Please feel free to ask if there are any questions – I can forward them to my osteopath to find the answers.

    Greetings!

  39. says

    I can see from this blog how much you love your son. Your love for him will protect him and nurture him and his future will be bright with your love that surrounds him. Wishing you and your lovely boy all the best.

  40. says

    Oh boy, did you tug on my heart strings here! I gave birth to a boy with hydrocephalus (never mind the details) 44 years ago, and I went thru exactly the kinds of emotions you’re talking about…except that you are light years ahead of me, because at 19 years old I had no idea what I was feeling or doing, or what the rest of my son’s life was going to be like for him or for me, or even if there’d BE a rest of his life, since the surgery for hydrocephalus was fairly new in 1965 (he’s still here….with many issues. And he’s my best friend.) I was in denial for the first six years of his life. When I finally came to, I went into a rage for several more years–not very good for him or the rest of our family. Today I can talk about this situation without crying or stumbling over my words in embarrassment. Today when someone offends me I give it to them good. In 2001 I self-published a book, Perfectly Normal, that took me, oh, only 25 years to finish. What a life it’s been.

    Best of luck to you. As I said, you’re light years ahead, and I have absolute faith that you and your son will use this difficult and complex life experience in very productive ways.

  41. Coco says

    He is absolutely gorgeous. The picture of him on the front page caught my eye before I ever even read your post.

    This mother thing can be hard. It’s OK to have bad days. And don’t be afraid to tell people not to touch your sweet baby’s face if it makes you uncomfortable.

    From one mama to another, hang in there. You guys WILL be okay.

  42. Sara says

    he is a beautiful boy :)

    im currently a grad student, working on getting my masters in occupational therapy and its kids like this that melt my heart and make me excited to go into work for the rest of my life. typically developing or not, kids are going to have hardships growing up. each one is individualized and helps shape the person into what they will be. no doubt your beautiful baby boy will be strong and open-minded.

    think of if this way–he is unique, a one of a kid. no one in the world will have the same smile as him.

  43. says

    He is absolutely adorable for exactly who he is! You will have no problem telling him that– and that’s what he’ll need to hear. And you’re right. He not only is going to be just fine, he already is. :)

  44. says

    Hi!

    I randomly stumbled across this post from somewhere around the wordpress site, and it caught my eye. I also was born with the same problem: during birth, my facial nerves were destroyed on the left side of my face, and I also can’t smile properly and my left eye doesn’t close all the way. Here’s a photo of me last year: http://www.flickr.com/photos/olgaapolinarska/2806150993/

    But, there is no reason to feel bad for your son! I have no doubt that he will find happiness in his life with this minor “flaw”. For me, it has almost become a blessing because I am surrounded by people who overlook it and see me for who I am. Of course, I had fears..who will I date?…will I be successful? People that I have loved have found beauty in it. And as far as pursuing academic/professional success, it just inspires me to work harder, so that it’s my skills that stand out.

    I’m sure you will find the right balance with your son and will encourage him with anything he does. People will always be ignorant, but all you have to do is carry yourself with confidence and suddenly others will stop seeing it as a flaw. I know that this will only strengthen you and your son, so think positive!! :-)

    –Olga
    (here’s my blog: dirtyminimalism.wordpress.com if you want to see more about me)

  45. Best MOM Ever says

    Hi,

    I am so touched by your article. I am 24 years old and have a palsy called bell palsy. I received this when I was pregnant with my first born at age 18. One day, I just woke up and I was brushing my teeth and I told my boyfriend I could not move the left side of my face. We brushed it off and just thought I was tripping, because I never look in the mirror or anything that day, I was just brushing my teeth and notice the way how I was spitting my toothpaste off, that it felt a little different. So, toward the afternoon I was taking pictures and my mother in law says my face is not moving. So, that is my story about how I got bell palsy.

    I don’t know of anyone in my family that has this condition. I went to the doctor several times and of course they said it would just go away. Well, my son is almost 6 years old now and I still have this condition. I have learned to smile with it, eat with it, talk with it, chew gum with it, whistle with, and it has just become apart of my life. Most people say the don’t see it, unless I smile, which is the case for your baby, but over time the left side of my face has begun to move a little. I have met a few people over the past 5 years that have this condition and they are older. My son’s uncle has it and I met a friend at work who has it.

    I know it has to be hard and it feels like its your fault, but your son will get through this. Palsy is uncommon, because no one really knew about when I first got it. He will learn to adjust to it and you will see that everything is okay. I recently had another baby and my bell palsy became worse with this baby, but it went back to what it was after I had my second son.

    I too struggle with something else with my second son and I’m not sure what his condition is, but I will tell you about it, if you have a few more moments to spare.

    My son has a little eye and a big eye. I’m not sure what this is called, because he is still so young (10 months) the doctor can’t give his condition a name. His left eye is smaller than his right eye. In his left eye the doctor said his vision is cloudy and in his right eye his pupil is tear drop shaped. I found out about this when my son was about 2 weeks old and the doctor pretty much told me he was going to be blind. I cried my heart out, and ask God why did he deserve this. What did I do to my child, and how can I make this better. I found out that his condition came partly from his dad’s side and his dad had this condition along with the grandfather also. The only thing is my son’s condition is worse than there’s. His dad grew into his left eye, which I mean it got bigger, but he needs glasses to make his vision better. My son is now 10 months old and he is not blind (thank you Jesus). He does have some problems with his eyes, and his eyes still look little and big, but he can see me. I get stares all the time. I wen to my 5 year’s graduation and the kids just kept asking “What’s wrong with his eyes?” I overlook those stares, and whispers, because he is mine and I love him.

    When I read your article, I was so touched, and I instantly started crying. I know how you feel and the emotions that are running inside of you as a parent. Please if you can, just email me back to let me know you got this response I would greatly appreciate.

    Best Wishes,
    Acquelyn

  46. says

    I just wanted to add one more thing!

    I just took a peek at your “about” page and saw that your son’s birthday is the 28th of October. So is mine!! I can’t believe the coincidence.

  47. Syed says

    hey hey…very cute little boy! it’s very possible he will improve over time….but even if he doesn’t, it’s best to make the best of it!

  48. nardeeisms says

    He’s a cutie! Reminds me of another boy with a crooked smile who just happened not to do too bad for himself.

    His name? Elvis. :-)

  49. says

    What an honest and beautiful article. Your feelings are completely understandable, but please please please do not feel guilty for your son. I usually hate when people give their own examples to make someone feel better, but I really have to this time. My case isn’t exactly the same, but I was born with weak muscles in both my eyes (basically lazy eyes) and my parents, especially my mom, have been telling me how guilty they feel about it since I can remember. It’s not a major issue since glasses generally fix them, though I always feel a little self-conscious when I have to take them off or feel like it shows. The thing is, never for a minute of my life did I feel like it was my mom’s fault, or anybody’s for that matter. It’s my problem and it makes me profoundly sad when my mom feels bad about it.

    I’m not saying your son won’t have issues with his condition, but he may also learn to just live with it. If he senses your feelings of guilt it might make that harder for him, even though, just like my mom tells me, as a parent it’s impossible not to feel responsible for everything that happens to your child. Since it’s already weighing you down so much, maybe you should just start seeing it all as a different version of normal. When people say it’s not that bad, just tell yourself of course, why would it be bad? I am positive that an attitude of acceptance rather than guilt and anger will be wonderful for your son to feel as he grows older.

    Seriously, really moving article. Best of luck with everything!

  50. says

    I love your honesty and rawness about motherhood. It is hard to admit sometimes the fear and frustration that we feel, after all – didn’t we ask for this responsibility? You son is precious and beautiful. He is going to grown up strong, independent and self-assured because he has you as a mom. I can’t wait to follow you on this journey!

    - Emily

  51. Ser says

    He is indeed a very beautiful boy.. and I really wish the very best for you and him.. U guys will be okay.. :)

  52. manipulativechick says

    My oldest son was born with a bicuspid aortic valve. We did not know until a 9 month well baby check. He was a bruiser–big, long, strong–with no indications of any heart involvement. After his diagnosis my mom wanted to know what I did to cause it. What did I do? Absolutely nothing. There was nothing I did wrong, nothing I could have done to prevent it. His is caused by nerve damage to that third little cuspid of the aortic valve.

    We were very lucky to be sent to visit with a wonderful pediatric cardiologist. In his heyday, kids from all over the world were sent to see him. He was literally only 20 miles from home. And when my baby boy and I went for the sedation and the echocardiogram, it was confirmed. So while I stood there and shook and wondered what would happen next, Dr. Culpepper told me that this was not so bad, that we’d see a problem if it developed at least 9 months or so ahead of it becoming a crisis, that if you had to have a heart defect, this was the one to have. And then the doctor gave me a really life affirming present. He was playing with my baby and said, “Okay, here’s what you need to do. You need to take him home and love him. Let him run with his sisters. Let him beat them up whenever he can. More importantly, let them put him in his place as often as they can. Let him be a normal little boy. And stop worrying about it. It’s not anybody’s fault.”

    And that’s what I did. My little boy is now 6’3″ and a diesel mechanic. He was a lineman on a state championship high school football team. And he has a heart defect that is not so bad.

    Let go of your guilt. Enjoy your beautiful baby. He has a paralysis. He’s a doll. He’s also perfectly who he is!

  53. memoirgirl says

    My husband talks out of one side of his mouth and smiles a little crooked sometimes and the title of your blog caught my eye because of it.

    Idiots like me will wonder why he looks different, but the reality is that he does look different. It sucks to have to explain why to people. I won’t know how hard that is but I imagine it isn’t fun.

    He is adorable and you are a wonderful mother.

  54. Janis says

    FWIW, there’s a fabulous opera singer named Michael Maniaci who has a one-sided facial palsy as well. It may have impacted his voice in that it never really dropped much — sounds like a bad thing, but he sings MAGNIFICENTLY and very, very high. He’s in huge demand all over the world for that miraculous voice and is very well-loved by opera fans like me. I don’t doubt he’s gone through some garbage because of it, but if the palsy gave him that brilliant mezzo voice, then the palsy was a miracle. Check him out, and good luck to you and your kid. :-)

  55. says

    First of all, he is adorable. Congratulations! Secondly, if it makes you feel better, I have a crooked smile as well which was the result of a birth injury. (It is only one side of my mouth- the rest of my face is not affected.) I have never, in 32 years, once blamed my parents or anyone else for it because it was “just one of those things.” It hasn’t hindered me at all and it isn’t even something I think about. Tons of people have crooked smiles- Ellen Barkin, Milo Ventimiglia, and Sylvester Stallone to name a few.

  56. says

    He is a cute baby boy, and he will grow as a brilliant man. Keep the faith that everything will be alright and as you hope.
    We are all beautiful, God has made us special. And God has made him special too.

  57. says

    Your little boy is one of the cutest and most precious babies I have ever seen. All of our little “flaws” and distinctnesses make us unique. But they don’t lessen the intrinsic beauty of each individual. There is no one who will look just exactly like your son, just as there is no one who looks just like you or just like me. He is a beautiful individual with an open, interested and happy expression.

    Congratulations on the absolute beauty of your son!

  58. jenniferlarsonwrites says

    Crooked smiles are awesome!

    I say that as someone who has been living with Bell’s Palsy for four years now. I developed paralysis on the left side of my face when I was pregnant with my elder son. Typically Bell’s Palsy has a much poorer prognosis for recovery in pregnant women, and sure enough, I never regained all my facial function. My left eyelid droops a bit, I can’t move my left eyebrow, and my smile is, yes, crooked. Do I blame my son for the Bell’s Palsy because I developed it when I was pregnant with him? No, of course not. And your son will not blame you either. It truly is one of those things.

    I know you’re probably always going to wonder ‘what if…?’ and things like that, and nothing that any of us say will be able to stop that. It’s not what you wanted to have happen. But he is adorable even with his paralysis, and like several other commenters have pointed out, he is unique and distinct in his beauty. And that is just fine. It really is.

  59. says

    Thanks to all of you for taking the time to comment. I am completely blown away. As I laboured over this post last night, my only hope was that it would help me stay positive, while allowing me to express those negative feelings I felt were creeping up on me threatening to overwhelm.

    That so many of you have read it and added to it with your own thoughts, feelings and experiences is not only unexpected but a true gift.

    Thanks again to you all x

  60. Janine Hamilton says

    He is a beautiful boy. My daughter was born with “ticking timebomb” in her little body. We have to monitor it and hopefully it will never “detonate”. The funny thing is that I think it’s made her a more caring and compassionate little soul and in that way perhaps her “bad” thing has simply made her a better person. One that can bring more happiness to those in the world around her. Perhaps the same will be true of your little man. Perhaps he will end up a better person for his “challenge”. Perhaps he will be a blessing to those around him. Perhaps he will get a nicer wife and have children that go out and bring happiness into the world due to being raised by exceptional parents. Perhaps one day you’ll look back and be thankful for his condition when he grows into the exceptional person that I’m sure he’ll be. Much love, a stranger, Janine

  61. says

    Please take your baby to a chiropractor who is trained to work with infants. It is very common for children to have damaged the top part of their spine during the birth process. This can result in any number of problems including palsy. Chiropractors see people of all ages for this and similar problems. Please visit http://www.upcspine.com for information regarding the upper cervical spine and chiropractic.

  62. says

    The single hardest part of parenting is the “what if’s”.

    My daughter was two years old when she suddenly developes seizures. The doctors still can’t tell us what caused them in the first place, why she still has seizure activity in her brain, or even what the name of her condition is (they only refer to it as general seizure disorder).

    For two years my wife has worried and wondered if she caused it somehow, if something she did during pregnancy is the culprit. And now that she’s pregnant again, she worries constantly about what will happen with this baby.

    For most of the last two years my little girl was on a medication that stopped the seizures but left her totally incapable of controlling her emotions. She was manic, angry, lashing out, then breaking down in tears. And all the well meaning (and not so well meaning) relatives saying all the right things to us and then whispering and exchanging glances behind our backs almost drove me nuts.

    But every time my little girl fought through the meds and was just… her… it reminded me why all that stuff didn’t matter. Today she’s on new meds and the side effects are different, and five years from now it’ll probably be something else entirely. But it won’t matter. Because she’ll still be my little girl.

    No one else had ever summed that up for me until you did. Thank you for the post and thank you for reminding me even on the most stress filled and tiring of days of the wonder that our kids can be.

  63. says

    Your son is awesome and blessed to have a mother who loves him as much. Jean Chretien, one of our former Prime Ministers, also had a form of palsy. It certainly didn’t stop him from being a great man.

    An amazing post – thank you for sharing.

  64. says

    This is such a well-written and beautiful post, you can feel the love for your baby boy come right off the page. He’s super cute and I’m sure you and your family can overcome anything that is thrown at you, just keep that in mind!

  65. says

    I think your little man is too cute… and anyway from my experience as a photographer beauty comes from the soul – an outwardly beautiful person with no personality becomes tiresome and adds less to a photo than a person with character on the outside and inside. The person with character will take your breath away once you see into their soul. I love your writing can’t wait to read more.

  66. says

    Your son made me smile my 24 year-old crooked smile. I was also born with this same problem. I’m not going to say it never affected me negatively, because there were times in my early life where I did question what was wrong with me and even now I am still not comfortable with having my photo taken. I think the best thing to do is just be open and honest about it. If people ask, I tell them. In some cases I think it has been a blessing because it means that you meet more genuine people. I learned early on that this should never affect my confidence and belief in myself, if anything it makes you work harder and allows you to appreciate more important things in life.

  67. says

    Well, I think your baby is as cute as can be! I see you have had many comments and I didn’t have time to read them. However, I have a friend whose son had Bells Palsy as a toddler and the paralysis never went away. I referred her to my acupuncturist and the treatments made a huge difference in his face (which is far worse). He wasn’t crazy about the needles but got used to them. Later, she found a massage therapist who did close to the same thing as the acupuncturist, but using massage. I can’t even tell he ever had a problem. The difference is remarkable. If this is something that really bothers you, you might want to look into it. However, you should never beat yourself and feel guilty. You are obviously a very loving and caring parent, and only want the best for your baby. Completely understandable :) I wish you and your beautiful boy the best!

  68. says

    Great post and your baby boy is beautiful. This is such an honest piece and I think it is great that you were able to express your fears and still show so much love for your son.

  69. Jake says

    Jarvis is one of the cutest babies in the world!
    I am telling you, I didn’t notice about the facial palsy..I clicked because hey you got a lovely baby boy!

  70. says

    Your son is absolutely adorable!
    Your words are beautifully written.
    My cousin developed facial palsy (Bell’s Palsy) during the birth of her second child. She was also told “this is just something that happens sometimes.”
    Don’t blame yourself.
    Don’t worry about being your son’s primal protector.
    It is natural.
    Hug your sweet baby … and then hug yourself!

  71. says

    He’s beautiful :)

    No one is ever perfect, we all have flaws. It’s how you live your life that makes you who you are, not your looks. He obviously has a great mom who loves and cares for him and I know that feeling is mutual.
    It’s hard when your child is not “perfect” but be proud for your child. It was nothing you did, don’t ever feel any guilt. You brought him into this world – that’s always a miracle in itself. Nothing should slow him down!

    Take care!

  72. says

    I had no idea what your post was about. I was simply drawn to click on it because of how cute your baby is. I’ll say a special prayer for you both.

  73. says

    Coming from a person who’s had Bell’s Palsy since they were an infant; your son is amazing. And if some jerk makes any sort of comment about him, remind them that facial palsys often come about during adult-hood ;)
    Really, no one should be saying anything rude about it. It could happen to them at any time.
    And it’s not like it’s deadly or anything, it just changes your apperance a little.
    What I’m saying is; anyone who says anything bad about him doesn’t have any idea what they’re talking about.

  74. Jacky says

    Hi.. I hope you don’t mind me commenting here. It’s the first time I’ve ever read your blog and haven’t really read around that much- but have you tried getting acupuncture for Jarvis? I know several people who had bell’s palsy for years and years and were treated by acupuncture.

    I hope everything goes well for you.
    :)

  75. Carla says

    I just sent your story to a friend of mine who is a new mother of baby boy. This is a beautiful and honest story about the challenges faced by all mothers, wanting to protect and have the best life for your child. Your little boy will be everything you wish for him because he has a mother who will be there for him no matter what. Good luck and God bless.

  76. K says

    The truth is, for me, everyone I know & love has something “wrong” with them that their mother worried about and yes, caused them to be a little “different” growing up. The result? These people are all amazing, with character and interests and souls richer for making a real effort during times when other people might just slide by. I really mean it….I’m not talking one or two…dozens of amazing people.

    He’s lucky to have an amazing mom with the courage to say her fears out loud (you know….internet out loud)…..but he’s just plain lucky, too. Lucky awesome beautiful boy!

    And if girls thinking he’s boldly winking at them is a thing that happens to him for life, I think he’ll *definitely* learn to use it to his advantage. If I know boys, anyway!

    You’re so sweet….and I know you won’t stop worrying. You’re his mom. It’s your job.

  77. andydbrown says

    Jarvis is adorable!
    Thanks for sharing your heart-felt story. Beautiful words! I especially loved the honesty of your 2nd last paragraph about sometimes just not feeling “up to task” mostly because of well-meaning people.
    I think your son is going to do just fine with such a sensitive and thoughtful mother. Try not to “turn on yourself though”. That’s was, for me, the most heartbreaking part of your story. There are some things that are just out of our control and you just have to know that beating yourself up over something you had nothing to do with is not going to do you or your precious bundle of joy any good. God has made your special little man with great purposes in mind. You should be honored that God has placed such a trusting responsibility “in your lap”. :-) God bless!

    1As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
    3″Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. (John 9)

  78. says

    You are strong and brave and very very intelligent too. I can very well understand what you wish to portray through words here..
    It pricks you when “they” praise him, it pinches more when “they” do not..
    The best way to deal with anything is to become completely indifferent- and you know that already.. Your son is on his way to make a fine gentleman of himself- under you..
    All the best with your mothering.
    You are strong……………………..
    Cheers

  79. says

    Wow, so many wonderful comments to a very sincere and honest post. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. I hope that you make it to read my comment. I have a 17 month old. He was born with eczema. His little legs have white spots all over them and his little thumb and index finger always looks raw. I was told that he might grow out of it but it is only getting worse. Somehow as a mother we feel the guilt for anything that is not absolutely perfect about our children. That can only be managed because it never actually goes away. Rejoice in the love that you feel for him and the joy he brings you and don’t focus on the flaws. It’s not your fault and he will have more character and be a stronger person for it. God bless you and him.

  80. says

    What an absolutely beautiful baby! His crooked smile is so radiant that if the right corner of his mouth turned up as well, we might be blinded by the light! He is perfect just as he is.

    If interested, here is a video of Shelby Dressel, 20 year old 2010 American Idol contestant. Shelby is a lovely, accomplished young woman with a crooked smile and very bright future. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yl5X6KlvGs

  81. says

    What a precious baby! He is unique and special and as he grows, he won’t know there’s anything different about him. He’ll think everyone else is weird. don’t forget, even the kids who are ‘normal’ get teased and taunted and harassed. I’m ‘normal’ and that didn’t save me. Kids get teased for their names, their hair/eye color, height, whatever. It sounds like you are going to raise a confident, strong boy. I hope you don’t spend too much time dwelling on the palsy, if he’s otherwise healthy, that is just such a blessing.

  82. Boghi says

    This is an incredible post and your love for your boy shines through each line. My first thought when opening your post was that the picture of your son is wonderful and that I love his crocked smile and I simply must read the post. It never for a second passed my mind that he might have something that causes the smile to be as such nor that I should feel pity or compassion for him! People who act like that or do that are week for not understanding that we are all beautiful no matter the little imperfections we might have – inside or out.
    Don’t feel sad for a second thinking about his life and how it will be. I am convinced that it will be amazing just because he has you as a mom.
    He is a beautiful baby!

  83. says

    The last thing any parent wants is for their child to be different, whether that’s mentally or physically handicapped or afflicted in any way; we all want everything to be ‘just so’.

    It’s the hardest thing in the world when we discover that something’s not right. When my wife and I were given Jack’s diagnosis of Autism, we felt many emotions, fear, grief, guilt, anger and many more besides. Knowing that Jack will never be normal is terrifying, but armed with love and hope, we march on and roll with life’s punches.

    Jarvis will face many challenges in life, but I’m sure he will become a very strong boy because of them. It’s obvious he is loved and many so called ‘normal’ kids, face life without love and I’d say their challenges are far greater.

    Let us hope that medicine comes to the rescue of all of those afflicted children and help them enjoy their lives to the full.

    Respect and Peace!
    @dam

  84. katery says

    his face is NOT “not that bad,” on the contrary, his face is adorable and his sweet little crooked smile just adds to his obvious charm.

  85. bokker says

    The first thing I thought when I saw his pic, before I read the post, was “what a beautiful smile”. It takes guts to honestly share your feelings about something which affects your child’s appearance. I struggled when my baby (5 months now) started to grow a strawberry birthmark on her head. Now I couldn’t care less about the birthmark. It’s a different situation from yours, but I do understand a little.
    I wrote about our experience here: http://bokker.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/vanity-vanity-part-deux-the-mark-of-distinction/

    (sorry, don’t know how to do links!)

  86. maasanova says

    I agree with Maxi, his smile is pretty cool. Before you read the post, you don’t know it’s a birth defect. It gives him a bit of character and he looks like a tough guy already! I’m sure he’ll be popular with the ladies for that reason alone.

  87. mseve7 says

    Sometimes a child is born a little different for a reason that we may not always understand. It is apparent that this baby has ignited a passion and commitment in you to stay true and loyal despite not being “normal.” As long as he continues to grow and see that confidence, support, and security in you he will embrace it whole heartedly!

  88. says

    Your son is darling! Let me just tell you as of mother of 3 sons two of which were identical twins, you are blessed! Son’s are the most wonderful gift from God. I can’t tell you how awesome they are to their mothers. Yes, it was hard and I couldn’t wait until they were 18, but looking back I wouldn’t have changed a thing!

    Jarvis’s crooked little smile will be just as endearing in the future as it is now! Remember, God never makes mistakes. Jarvis is who he is for a reason, and from what I have learned in my 50 years it is always a good reason. As far as what people say, well, they mean well, but sometimes they just don’t filter before speaking. I actually had one of the mother of the twin’s friend ask me “which one do like better? Well, I like Chirstopher better”. I could’nt believe my ears!

    Hang in there you are a good mom, I tell by your words and your heart.

    God with you,

    Kathy

  89. says

    Dear Beautiful Baby Boy with the lovely smile,

    You are a lucky boy to be in the care of a loving mother who will nurture you and do her best to protect you from the little and big difficulties in life that we all face.

    I wish you and your mother all the best.

  90. says

    All that is important is that you love each other and never forget that Jesus loved you first! Jarvis is a handsome little boy and God bless you both!

  91. says

    He’s gorgeous.
    He is truly adorable and that crooked smile is full of joy and light.
    Come from that space.
    No one can make you or him feel inferior unless you let them, to paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt. He is perfect the way he is.
    Love him as you do. Love him to be who is he is and happy to be it.
    You know what to do.
    Nancy
    FancyNancysays.com

  92. lilly says

    Your baby is beautiful, and you are a wonderful mother. I never comment on blogs, and barely ever click on the featured blogs I see on the wordpress homepage, but his beautiful smile made me click to see more. Thanks for sharing such personal thoughts, this was a touching entry.

  93. says

    Beautiful!!!! baby’s first positive communication tool, one they learn to use to hone in on to “parents’ ” emotions. That smile is worth more than a thousand words, in all it’s innocence.

  94. says

    Hi,
    i’m from Brazil and I decided to visit your blog after seeing the lovely picture of your little boy.
    I think you are a wonderful mother, and your son is beautiful.
    I wish the best to both of you =)

  95. says

    You sound like a good Mom and your son will have lots of support from the family. Why are you blaming yourself for what’s happened? From this entry it doesn’t sound like you did anything risky during your pregnancy.

  96. says

    Jarvis has amazingly blue eyes. The picture you have as your introduction picture grabbed my attention off of the wordpress main page and his smile is amazing. He has such a big personality for such a little man, even in pictures.

    I know how daunting it can be to have a child that other people just don’t understand and how hard it is not to bite their fingers off for doing things that simply annoy the hell out of you. You are a better person than I. Too many times I snapped at people to just leave my son alone.

    I hope you keep this journal going and posting about you and little Jarvis (who won’t be little much longer! They grow so fast!). I would like to keep reading about the two of you and see how you’re getting along.

    Best wishes, lovely.

  97. says

    This is a great blog and you really let your emotions come through. I can understand a little because my child is autistic even though these are two totally different things. I wonder if it was something I did wrong when I was pregnant and how life will be for her when she get’s older.

    I kind of get upset when people tell me she is perfectly fine and everything’s going to be great. I love her and would move the world for her but I do know that she will have some obstacles to overcome.

    I know you know your baby is beautiful so I don’t have to tell you that. :)

  98. says

    Your writing is real, honest, and beautiful. You and your sweet baby are, too. I hope you’ll take the time to print off or somehow save all of these comments (who knows what you’ll be doing when he’s a teenager) and pull them out and read them again when you get discouraged. Maybe cut them apart into individual comments and pick one out of a hat when Jarvis has had a rough day. (at least 99% of them…)

    Congrats on ‘Freshly Pressed’ — keep writing.

    http://megidio.wordpress.com
    Mary ;-)

  99. says

    The picture of a beautiful baby drew my attention while I was on web-surfing and somehow got me into this article. I didn’t realize that he had a medical condition until you mentioned about it like facial nerve palsy. This baby is so lovely and beautiful. Don’t ever lose your heart because of his medical diagnosis. God will be with you, both of you!

  100. j says

    Thank you for this beautiful post.

    He is so adorable! I clicked on this FreshlyPressed because he is just too cute! (and just think, when he grows up he will be such a ladykiller with that sexy, crooked smile!)

  101. says

    Your baby boy is beautiful.

    None of my children have “one of those things” on the outside, but they have all fought the fight of being different. All four of them are quiet, sensitive people who watch from the outside and think twice before they join the fray. All through their childhoods they dealt with — and their father and I worked through it with them — the attacks from their peers who called them shy and weird, or just ostracized them and made sure they stayed out of the group.

    It hurts. But we stick by them, walk them through it, watch them as they grow and learn to battle on their own.

    Your incredibly handsome and engaging son will push his way forward through life and sweep the insensitive comments aside to the gutter. He has you to train him and walk with him, and he will have his own strengths and experiences to draw on.

  102. says

    He is absolutely beautiful! And I can understand what you go through with all those emotions. My son has Muscular Dystrophy. As a 14 month old, he can not crawl, sit unassisted, or roll over completely (let alone walk). And, his life span will most likely be greatly diminished. I hope that you can find some peace with your son’s obstacle, and that life will be awesome for him despite the Facial Palsy. It sounds like you are well equipped to teach him the tools to being a good person, and well rounded enough to be able to face the difficulties that he may encounter. ~T.

  103. says

    You’ve received a lot of comments so I’m not sure if you’ll make it to mine, but if you do, I hope this helps.
    It seems like you’re still grieving the loss of that perfect baby everyone imagines. It’ll take time to accept, I’m sure it’s not an easy thing to swallow.
    I don’t have kids yet so perhaps I have no right to speak to this, but I do work with people with disabilities and the one thing I’ve learned from all the stares, ignorance and misinformation is that (with no exception) every single person I’ve worked with that “isn’t normal” is happier than anyone else I know. I think being different gives you some innate ability not to hate or judge other people. When I see people staring at Bryan – who has CP – or Robbie – who has Downs – I just smile, because I know they’re so consumed in their own ignorance that they’ll never understand how truly amazing it is to be a part of their life.
    It’s hard not to be irate when people stare. It took me a long time not to throw dirty looks back or say something. But I’ve learned to bite my tongue and count myself lucky.
    Your son can do anything – and he will. He has a mother who loves him and he’ll learn not to judge others easier than most everyone else. He’ll learn to love and be happy and accepting of others.
    Congrats mom on a beautiful baby. :-)

  104. Neema Shaw says

    a disablity is only a disablity for a child raised to think he has a disabilty …. he is a gorgoues baby boy who will find love and confidence to overcome societys woo;s .my daughter was born 20 years ago with no left arm or hand from just under her elbow .. i refused to hide her stump from the world we dealt with things as they arose from human fear and uneducated minds . she is now a very capapble mother to her 1 year old boy …. if you raise your child with confidence they will be strong amazing human beings who contribute just like everyone else … and just look at him …. he is a stunner . xxxxxx

  105. tweetcorn says

    This is an amazing post!!

    Your little baby is so beautiful! And so so cute, I love the pic you’ve put up, it made me smile too :)

  106. says

    Your son is the most beautiful gift that the universe has given you. For some reason that I cannot explain you were chosen to bring him into this world so that you can unwrap the many layers he will be offering to you and your family for many years to come.

    Our jobs as parents are to be our sons advocates and sponsors to help others accept or at least teach them how to understand our sons perspective.

    Now my job is to document the next experience that my son will be going through. Here is my blog address if you are interested.
    http://www.dezigner356.wordpress.com

  107. TryingtobeLovely says

    He IS a beautiful little boy. His little smile is just perfect.
    I know everyone says differences like his don’t make any difference, and it’s true, just…. don’t forget to let it go, yourself.
    My mother always told me my learning differences weren’t a huge deal, that I was still a smart little girl. Because she brought it up, I noticed it more and to be honest, it made me feel worse.
    So please, don’t build his life up just around protecting him from his one little oddity. He’s quite the handsome little fellow, there’s a lot of character in those lovely blue eyes of his, a lot to make him who he is, other than his smile (not that it isn’t the cutest thing in the world)

    *please forgive me if this makes no sense to you. It makes perfect sense in my mind, but it’s almost 4 in the morning when I’m writing this…*

  108. says

    I am not a parent, I am not a father, I can’t completely feel your situatuon. Your writing touched me, and for some reasons, I am very positive that your boy, you and your whole family is going to be good. Yes, there are challenges ahead, but they are going to make all of you strong.

    God bless.

  109. says

    When I initially clicked on your blog from the front page of WordPress, I had no idea what it was about but had to follow the picture of such a sweet little boy. I don’t have kids but imagine that wanting them to have the best world and the most wonderful life is just the beginning. Having a mom who loves him the way you means he will have just that. I have a dad who has always been in my corner, no matter what the circumstance. And I’ve had challenges. Maybe not the same challenge as your son but challenges nonetheless and knowing that I had someone I could always turn to and talk to who was always there to love me and show me the way has done more for me as a child and adult than any other thing. I consider myself lucky and I bet your son will feel the same way. Thank you for sharing something so personal. And thank you for such a great picture :)

  110. says

    He’s a little miracle! He will surprise you in so many ways. I think he has a beautiful smile. Who care what others think. He will make you strong and proud. You’ll endure so much but will rewards will be endless. Take it from one who’s been in your place. My son has autism. Blessing to you and family.

  111. Nardeeisms says

    From one Mom to another:

    Although I commented a few days ago…Just so’s ya’ know…I had to stop by to look at him again. He’s just drippin’ with sweetness.

    Mom, you’re doing well! I am one of your cheerleaders!

    Whatever you do, please keep this in mind: Enjoy every moment. They tend to grow up waaayyy too fast.

    Regards.

  112. theworldaccordingtomax says

    Before I even read your post, I thought he was an adorable little guy. I work with special kids and know the challenges they can face. You are right, there will be some tough times for him as kids of a certain age can be mean sometimes. However, he will grow through that and become an amazing handsome boy. He already is! As a mom of a child with some special needs myself, I appreciate your candor. I cope by finding the funny in her, and she can be hysterical. I love that you ended finding the positive. Keep looking for that and you will find peace and he will have much to smile that adorable crooked smile about. Best wishes!
    http://theworldaccordingtomax.wordpress.com/

  113. Tash says

    This was my first time to wordpress.com and when skimming over the intro page I saw this adorable lil boy with the cutest smile and clicked on it. When reading the article I got a lil bummed at the ignorance of some people (grrr) but I want you to know that I think, and I know I’m just a random person out here in the world, he is the cutest lil pumpkin and that facial palsy, I think, only adds a lil bit to his character. The palsy will not dictate who he is or what he will be but creates a stamp for others to remember him by and I have no doubt he will grow to be a remarkable young man! Watch and See!!

  114. clamorousvoice says

    This post really moved me – I have to say I just clicked because I am a SUCKER for beautiful babies! I didn’t understand the title until I read the article.

    I can see it’ll be tough, but he really is so very beautiful & having gone through some of your other posts, I think you’re doing great.

    And god, he is so absolutely scrummy. His LITTLE HANDS. All of him. He is so beautiful and full of life.

  115. says

    His smile is what drew me to open your post. When I read your title and saw his smile my first thoughts were about a few people I’ve known and know who have quirky smiles. That made me smile from a couple of good memories to do with a couple of those folks.

    God has a plan for that crooked smile. You’re right about him facing trials, but the quirky bright side of that is that we all do; each one specifically designed for us individually to help us stretch, grow, and build character – especially spiritual character.

    I know it’s difficult not to worry for our children, so I remind myself very often that worry never changed a single solitary thing except the attitude and effectiveness of the worrier. The best thing we can do for them is pray for them. Trust in Gods plan for them. And pour out love on them like a fountain – and it’s obvious from his smile he is drenched with love.

  116. says

    First, your boy is beautiful… I really mean it. He brought a smile to my face when I saw him. He has wonderfully bright eyes.

    The second thing I wish for you is just focus on today… don’t worry about tomorrow. Be the best parent you can be and your boy will grow and survive… he will be a good man with a good heart!!!

    My blessings are with you and your child!

    THANKS for posting your blog!!!

  117. says

    As a parent of a bipolar child, I share all the feelings you have. But I can tell you this: There is genius in deformity and great power in disability. Affix his mind and yours to a place beyond empathy. Your boy is graced with being BEYOND normal, not short of it. This place has it’s challenges, but it makes the world better. It’s God’s way of pointing us towards art and passion and looking at the world with fresh eyes. You will look back later and realize what a gift this is as you watch him change everyone around him.

  118. says

    wow its so heart warming and ya i can imagine what you are going through. I would just like to say ur boy is lucky to have a tough mom like u to look after him.

  119. says

    Your boy is beautiful and even more prescious because of facial nerve palsy. Your emotions are completely valid and do embrace them, but do remember, do not carry any guilt, sometimes things in life just are “one of those things”.

  120. says

    *Tear*… I looked at the picture before reading the post and thought “what an ABSOLUTELY adorable baby with most amazing smile!”. You are blessed to have a son so handsome and as tough as so many of your days and nights have and will continue to be… your last paragraph sums it up. Amazing post.

  121. says

    Your text touched my heart and make me cry. I think your Jarvis is lovely beautiful. Give him a big hug, and enjoy your time together. I wish I could it with my sons, but my first born dead six years ago, and the second one is now 25 and lives in his own.
    Don´t think about the bad faces of your lives, but enjoy the best of all. God bless you.

  122. says

    i just stumbled on your blog from the wordpress front page because of that picture of your son!

    While those feelings of guilt and sadness might not disappear, from a stranger’s point of view I must say your son’s smile made my day! With just a characteristic smile, he becomes a contagious happy boy! Being unique will make him strong and that smile will make him his own person! Congrats on you son!

  123. It's Just Jan says

    Like many others your son’s smile struck me as adorable so I read your post. He is precious and those things which make him unique also make him beautiful.

  124. says

    As a mother, a friend of someone who has facial palsy, and a fighter of a birth defect affecting my own feet and legs, I can tell you from personal experience that you will endure every step of grief until you finally reconcile and find peace. I agree with several people who have made comments here that it is your son’s photo that made me stop to read your post in the first place. He’s adorable! :) Peace will come…it sounds like you’re getting closer, and I wish you both the best. You will always question the situation, but your resilience, and your son’s, will win the upper hand. God bless you.

  125. says

    Your son is blessed to have you and the world is a better place with mothers such as yourself. And, I have no doubt you feel super blessed to have this beautiful boy to call yours.

  126. says

    Hi Mama – interesting to read your story – I think your son is beautiful. Have you considered trying chiropractic care for your little guy? Our son had some of the same symptoms, albeit much less severe, and sometimes this sort of thing can be helped and even cured by gentle spinal manipulations. Just had to throw that out there. All the best.

  127. says

    Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh….this is the cutest picture I have ever seen. That crooked smile will work for him all his life. He is a cutie beyond cutie.
    Parenthood is the hardest thing we will ever do. There are so many ways to fail it is almost overwhelming. You are already on your way to success because you care so much and you are already committed to raising him with love, positivity, care and compassion. With that combination, your son will be powerful and confident. Look at all these responses….he has stolen the hearts of many already.
    You will be a great mom!!

  128. cherylsafina says

    Make peace with it and move on. Everyone of us has a unique situation. This isn’t/wasn’t your fault. I’m thankful your baby is as healthy as can be.

    People are mean by nature. A lot of people made fun of my older autistic brother. I didn’t really understand why when I was little. If it’s not one thing they’ll find something else to comment about. Your baby’s clothes, hair, eyes, this that. Ughh…

    Hang in there. It’s ok to cry sometimes too. But make sure to pick yourself up for him. You signed on for parenting so this is just one of the many tackles.

    Good luck. Even when you don’t see it there are people who think your baby is gorgeous. (Wait til he gets older and the girls are chasing after him tehehehe)

  129. says

    Your son is adorable. It was the picture that attracted me to your post. I can’t speak as a parent, but it seems to me like you are doing a great job loving your son, and that’s all that he can ask of you. People are going to be stupid about things, but as long as he knows he always has you, he’ll be fine.

  130. Kathie says

    I clicked on your blog because the picture of your baby boy is so adorable. I then read your words and looked at his picture again…. I came away thinking again how beautiful he is, and how lucky he is to have you for his Mom!

  131. says

    I am new to wordpress and I think it was worth signing up just so I could read this wonderful story.
    Thank you for writing it – posting it – and sharing it with everyone.
    Your little boy’s crooked smile is priceless and so too is his Mom’s unconditional love. Best wishes….
    http://www.chipburpee.com

  132. saramorabi says

    I think that your story is amazing and you son is BEAUTIFUL! I was born with an A-symetrical cry, which is not nearly as drastic as your son’s facial nerve palsy, but as a baby and young child I had little to no control of the bottom right side of my lip. With time, my nerves have gotten strong, but I still have a crooked smile and cry which I have alway felt has made me unique and beautiful. My smile is extra big just like your sons and as you can see from the number of comments to your post, big smiles make people happy :)
    Good luck with everything, your son is lucky to have a mother like you.

  133. Freethinker says

    What a beautiful boy!

    In addressing negative emotions, I’ve often found EFT very useful. It’s quick and easy to learn, and it doesn’t cost a dime! Often, when I’ve eliminated my own negative emotions around an issue, I find the event that triggered the bother in the first place is often eliminated with it. You can find out more about EFT here: http://www.eftuniverse.com/ No hooks, no fees, no problem.

  134. says

    I almost never check out the featured blogs, but the photo of your son was so cute I couldn’t resist seeing what your post was about. He is a gorgeous baby. I am a mother of three, and my circumstances are different than yours, but I have two things I say to myself that may be helpful to you as you go out into the world with your sweet boy… My little ‘mantra’ is “meet ignorance with love”… most people are well meaning, and if you can say that to yourself, before you respond to them, things seem to go much better. The other thing I think to myself is, ‘let me use this opportunity to educate you’. It makes me feel good to know I’m teaching someone something they didn’t know before, and I feel like it empowers my children to see how I handle things in a matter of fact and positive manner. The world is a wonderful place and your son will be well loved!

  135. says

    I am the mom of two young ones (under three) and I feel your words could have been mine not that long ago. It can be so hard to be a mom. Even when everything is going well, it’s hard to get over the hormones and the post partum blues or depression or whatever it is they want to call it.

    Like a lot of people who wrote, I was drawn to your blog (reading it for the first time today) because of that adorable picture. As I read your post though, I thought: that was me! Not because are children were similar, just because of the sadness I was feeling even during the most joyous times.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that what finally helped me is getting help. I got lucky and was reccomended to a therapist that ended up being a good fit. But, perhaps it’s something that would work for you too? I’m sure I sound too presumptuous– I just have been feeling so much better about things these days, I guess I wanted to share that. Best wishes to you and your super-cute kid! Thanks for sharing you story.

  136. says

    Your son is beautiful, and I love his smile. My mom had a crooked smile, and my identical twin grandson who was a preemie at birth James has the same crooked smile as my mom. Nothing has ever been said, about his smile before by the doctor I and I thought it to be James’ trademark and his way of looking different than his twin John.

    You see the twins were born at 28 weeks and was in the NICU weighing James only weighing 1lb 4oz and his brother 1lb 3 oz, and those beautiful baby boys fought to stay alive and was in the NICU for over 2 months. They turned 8 years old on April 15 , and are thriving and doing well.

    Jarvis is unique just like James, and that crooked smile is such a joy to see. That smile I believe makes up a part of them that says you smile your way and I will smile mine and adds character to who they are. None of the kids in school have ever made fun of James and he is very popular among his class mates and plays soccer. Also since I lost my mom in 1994 I would love to see that beautiful crooked smile of hers just once more.

    Jarvis is beautiful just the way he is, and I would not change a thing about him. God sent you such a beautiful baby boy, and take it as a blessing that a crooked smile can warm your heart more than a straight one. God Bless You & Baby Jarvis, Linda

  137. says

    Your baby is cute and adorable and yes different and therefore challenged. And you are going to have to decide for yourself and for him if his crooked smile/facial palsy is going to be the headline in his life or a post script.

    After only 9 months with post partum hormones still raging and a bucket full of anguish and grief about the fact that your child is not perfect I know that you have not as yet been able to decide and you are honest enough to have written about your doubts and fears. But you are going to have to decide soon. You will frame how he sees himself and you will help him write his story with either the crooked smile as the reason he is to be pitied or admired.

    My 12 year old daughter was normal for her first 9 years with only a limp and weakness on her left side to contend with. Sure I cried and screamed and blamed everyone from my husband to God but mostly myself. We wrapped her in cotton wool and tried to protect her from everything. But then soon came to realise that what she needed/wanted was to be normal and that she really deserved the best life that we could give her. And to do that we had to stop feeling sorry for her and start treating her like a normal child. So we let her do and try everything she could including ballet, swimming, ice skating and even learning how to swing on a trapeze.

    Thank goodness we did because now she is a quadriplegic who breathes via a ventilator and can only move her right index finger – but she is at the same time a gold honor role student who is mainstream schooled. And sings in the school choir even though with a tracheostomy even speaking is a challenge. And she had a painting featured in the school art exhibition.
    And I tell her every day to do her best and that if she does she could be a lawyer, a doctor, a fashion designer, basically whatever she wants and that technology will catch up with her dreams and make even the most improbable possible.

    She is inspiring and impressive and simply amazing – and yes her eye droops a bit aswell.

    Don’t let a crooked smile define your childs life and if you let it be the excuse for everything that goes wrong from now on in yours, you will.
    Be strong you can and will raise an extraordinary boy – who has the cutest smile by the way. Sandra X

  138. says

    Hi dear,

    Please don’t ever chastize yourself for things you have absolutely no control over……but yes you are allowed the luxury of all the emotions you feel. After all you are human.
    I don’t know how to put it but when I saw your little one’s lop sided smile…I thought I’d like to visit your blog and see more photos of him as I do love kids. But it did hurt to read that Jarvis had a little problem and it brought some tears to my eyes too. God’s ways are strange …..maybe you will love your son more than you might love an average child ….and I think from Jarvis’s point of view …who can complain about more attention from your momma !!!

  139. Michelle Brown says

    What a beautiful post. As a mother of a little girl with a disorder in the Autism Spectrum, it is easy to relate. Though it is not a physical attribute, she is “quirky” enough to get noticed. And I went through (and still go through) all of the emotions you expressed. And we have also experience the comments and suggestions of good intentioned individuals. Well, maybe not all good intentioned. One person actually suggested have that she just needs a good spanking (seriously…beat the Autism out of her?!?) You have the right idea, lots of love, and help him construct a good self-esteem. This is your hardest battle, because no matter how much you build him up, a few comments from peers can easily tear him down. But despite you down days (and you will have many), don’t give up. He is a beautiful boy, and you are a beautiful mom.

  140. Voonhao says

    (: Well first of all, I believe that the baby is proud to have a parent like YOU! :D

    Cheer up. Just keep holding on!

  141. says

    Your post is extremely heart-warming. As an expectant mother, I was very touched by your honest words. Your son is beautiful, and with a mother like you he is going to shine throughout his entire life. Always remember that you’re human, which means you’re entitled to every emotion that you feel. It makes you the strong woman that you are and the amazing mother that your son needs. He loves and adores you, and his one-of-a-kind, beautiful smile is all the evidence you need.

  142. Tuffy Pants says

    Belinda,

    I have a blog on WordPress as well, and I see all the photos from other people’s blogs, I’ve seen them for months now and yours is probably, maybe, the second one I’ve clicked on and read. And I can only attribute it to two things: your sons adorably infectious smile and a headline I took to be filled with pride and joy over her son.

    The emotions you’re feeling so intensely — all of them — they’re signs of a mother who loves her child deeply. It’s okay to feel them. And I would recommend letting them run their course. If you want to laugh, then laugh; and if you want to cry, then cry. That’s why we have them: to act express what we can not at the time put into words.

    As I’m sure you know, his palsy wasn’t your fault. I’m sure it was just “one of those things.” And before you dismiss me well-meaning, but uninformed, know this: I am one of those people who grew up a little different. I have one of over a one-hundred documented types of dwarfism, so believe me when I say I know a little bit about growing up different.

    And I say this not to diminish the severity of your situation, but to encourage you and lighten your load — a crooked smile ain’t that bad.

    But you know what Belinda? You are so ahead of the curve compared to a lot, if not the vast majority of parents out there. I can tell you would teach your son to be kind and brave and personable and smart and caring and have a generous sense of humor. I can also tell that you would arm him the very same healthy self-esteem, and openness, and generosity to accept others that you mentioned in your post.

    The only thing that’s different is that now you consciously aware of it.

    I don’t think my parents consciously set out to impart those qualities, maybe they did, I’ve never asked them. But I can say this, I have those qualities. And if my parents could do it without a road map, you certainly can.

    And it’s okay if you have days that you get annoyed with well-meaning people. You’re human. If you didn’t get annoyed sometimes, you’d be an automaton. But know that all those people aren’t going to be well-meaning. It’s okay to have a clearly defined line as to what behavior you will put up with from strangers and the behaviors you won’t. In fact, I would urge you define that line quickly. And remember, well-meaning isn’t a license for bad behavior.

    Protectiveness is okay. You’re a mother. And isn’t that what mothers do? Protect their children by looking out for their best interest?

    Belinda, you’ve got the battle won already. You’ve figured out.

    How do I know? You said it yourself in the last three sentences of your post —

    “He fixes mee with a gaze, blue eyes shining with all the trust in the world and in that moment I know that he’ll be okay. That we’ll be okay. My boy with the crook smile and me.”

    Blessings!

    TuffyPants

    P.S.
    Tell your parents I said they did an awesome job raising such a kind and empathetic daughter with an excellent head on her shoulders.

  143. says

    Your son is beautiful! I have no children of my own but I cannot wait until I do. You feel the deep love that a parent feels for their child. I hope my child is as cute as your son is.

  144. Michala says

    Hello I am 13 years old and I too have a crooked smile I grew up with it! I have never had anyone make fun of it!! At first I wanted it too go away and then when I got more mature I realized that God chose me too have a unique smile and not many kids have one like me! He is adorable and I love his smile I have never seen another kid with a smile like mine<3

  145. says

    You love him, he’s YOURS.
    And he is beautiful because his palsy is what makes him who he is, just like each of our imperfections make us who we are – internally and externally. He is just perfect.

  146. says

    What a gorgeous kid. My little one- roughly the same age- has a large, red birthmark on her forehead. I feel your frustration with every one of the well meant, patronizing comments. A big smile and a “Look, isn’t she beautiful!” is so much more appropriate. i could just about cry, every time i hear it.

  147. says

    your writing brought tears to my eyes … im sure your boy will grow up very happy because he has a supportive mum and family that loves him dearly!!! and every child needs that !

  148. says

    His smile may be a little crooked but it is just gorgeous! He reminds me so much of how my middle boy looked at that age and I sit her looking at my 6 week old wondering if he will be just as beautiful!

    I have a secret spot that harbours questions, what ifs and yes.. a fair bit of guilt over how my girls were born (they were born 11 weeks early due to a complication with twin pregnancies) and every now and then I stop and questions and wonder if they would be different, if their struggles would be less if things had ended up differently…. but over the years I have come to terms with things and while I wouldn’t wish their beginning on my worst enemy I can now accept that that is part of who they are, part of their journey and part of mine…. so I have to embrace it.

  149. says

    Your son is beautiful, and that smile is infectious! I saw the pic and had to smile. What a beautiful, honest post. My son has a small cyst on his face that most people don’t notice, but some people do and I think it’s so rude that they point it out. We don’t do that to each other as adults – well, I hope not anyway. Have a lovely weekend!

  150. Jennie Griesbach says

    I needed to find you and TODAY was the best day I couldve…! My husband & I share the same sometimes lonely feeling: our 2 1/2 year old son was born with facial nerve palsy due to birth trauma! Abe has the same presentation as Jarvis but on his left side! And like your Jarvis, Abe is our handsome blue eyed baby…and we totally understand those comments of “oh its not that bad I hardly notice” as Abe is sitiing there with a serious face, the grocery store clerk asking “are you winking at me?!” etc. Yes we are so blessed to have a smart adorable healthy son it could be Much much worse. We know this BUT there are some every day challenges that are faced(eyesight, wind, sand, SUN?) and I would just love to touch base with you about them and how youre addressing them. Just today I had one of those break down moments you described- I didnt expect it but wounded Mother bear came out of me as I was dropping off our 5 year old son at preschool. When I got home I touched base with my husband and he said there has to be someone out there who knows what feelings youre dealing with – sometimes it just seems so rare no Dr really gets it, no other parents “really” do, we’re dealing with an unsuccesful legal battle against the hospital, etc. I searched and found you today. Thank You, I hope we can touch base and chat about our awesome boys with the crooked smiles!

  151. Amy Canton says

    Hi my name is Amy, I understand your feeling I feel the same way you feel, my son is 19 month he also has 7 nerve palsey on the right side of his face. I was just looking for a good eye Dr on line and I found your story brought tears to my eyes I thought I was alone. My son right eye does not stop tearing. Every time I take a picture of him it breaks my heart when he smiles. I get from the peaple about the winking or look he gave me a a grin. when he cries peaple say whats wrong with his face or they stare at him. I cry just thinking when he start school our the kids going to laugh at him call him names. A friend of mine seen him for the first time he was laughing she started to laugh at him saying look at popeye, I did not know how to react I just stared at her trying to smile but I could’nt. I wanted to get up grab my son and run out her place. But I sat in that chair and prayed for God to help me deal with this in a good way. I am getting better at it. He is the joy of my life I would not change him for anything. He does not fear any thing. Your son is so handsom God bless him and your family.

  152. Rebecca says

    My husband has a “crooked smile”. He is very successful and well liked by everybody. He hates it of course and yes, he’s had to deal with comments over the years from curious people, some thinking he must have had a stroke. It has never affected his success though and he is a very good looking guy despite not having a perfect mouth. I don’t even see it to be honest which might sound strange but to me, he IS perfect. We have two beautiful girls together and in no way, has his crooked smile affected our quality of life in any way. I’d rather him have a crooked smile than an ugly personality. I understand your pain though. My daughter was born with abnormally large eyes which stuck out like a frog. As she’s getting older, they are looking less freaky but there is not a person we meet for the first time that doesn’t comment about them. I’ve had lots of mean remarks about them as well which broke my heart. No one is perfect and it’s sad that our society is so obsessed with looks. There are some things you can’t change and our job as mothers is to help turn these imperfections into strengths for our children. Everyone is right though, he is gorgeous and I’m not just saying that.

  153. dora says

    You should have met my parents. I’m 50 now, and they raised me to simply be myself and no differently than my older sister. Please don’t underestimate kids’ natural holistic attitude towards their own bodies; when i saw myself in photos i didn’t analyze my face; i just thought “that’s me”!! i was loved, happy and naturally outgoing and had lots of friends (including little boyfriends. and yes, as i grew older, boyfriends who noticed my nice features and wanted to date me). It’s the people with negative, petty-minded attitudes *towards life
    in general* that will harass those of us who are ‘different’; you can always say “that’s so negative” and make your point without elaborating on what that means (and those who bother to be thoughtful will ‘get it’). Life is wondrous; your son is a part of everything in it so make sure he is encouraged like any other child. And bless you for being such a deeply caring mother.

  154. says

    I’m not sure why but this website is loading incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if
    the problem still exists.

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