If you look closely at this photo — taken two weeks ago at his 18th birthday dinner — you can see the dog bite scar on my son’s right cheek, which he got when he was 2, from a beloved family pet he and about a thousand young cousins were all trying to ride at the same time. She had had enough and turned around and snapped — and it was Hunter’s beautiful pink face that she caught. It went almost all the way through to the inside of his mouth and required emergency plastic surgery. Throughout the entire traumatic ordeal, he never cried nor flinched even ONCE — and to this day, he remains the most stoic, self-possessed person I know.
From the get-go, every year I would ask him if he wanted it to be ‘shopped out of his annual school photo…and every year he would tell me no. He has fiercely owned that scar from the very beginning and it is a part of who he is — an amazing young man of whom we are SO proud.
When he was a baby, I used to carry him EVERYWHERE on my left hip, going about my day and my duties, leaning in every five seconds to kiss that same spot on that same cheek — long before Katie the Golden Retriever got her turn at it — infusing him with creamy, buttery love.
The scar looks like a kiss to me now — and I always tell him that it is a gift from the gods, a divine tattoo, to remind him, every day of his life, how very much he is loved.