When Kelly Bossley dropped her daughter off at preschool last week, she knew the other children would be staring at her.
Two-year-old Lydia was born with a port-wine stain birthmark on her cheek and had recently undergone laser treatment, which caused the color to flare up. When Lydia walked into school her preschool, the other toddlers couldn’t help but wonder what was on her face. “The kids weren’t being mean, but were just curious and worried about her,” Bossley explained.
Bossley was a little anxious to leave Lydia for the day, but she knew that even at 2, Lydia was a strong girl. And Lydia ended up making her mom very proud when she walked right to her cubby, took out her favorite book, Sam’s Birthmark, and gave it to her teacher to read to the class.
The book is about a young boy who also has a port-wine birthmark, and it aims to teach children to embrace other’s differences.
Bossley explained the incident on Love What Matters’ Facebook page, and said, “She isn’t even 3 yet but her resilience and ability to self-care blows me away. I cried nearly the entire way to work – not because I worry how her peers will treat her in the years to come but because I know this girl is gonna do big things!”
Bossley and her husband, Trent, have taught Lydia and her twin brother Nolan to explain the birthmark to people who may be curious and believes this is what has given her kids the confidence to speak up for themselves, even at such a young age.
The mom explained that all kids haven’t been so nice and Lydia has been called “Purple Face,” but she says her daughter is “tough as nails, and is going to be OK no matter what.”
The best part about this story is that it is bringing attention to vascular birthmarks, Bossley says, “more awareness leads to greater acceptance, so it is my hope that Lydia’s story might help make things a little easier for others with physical differences.”
Martha Wardlaw Griffin, the author of Sam’s Birthmark heard Lydia’s story and commented on the post, “When I see posts like [this] I tear up!”
“There was not a positive message children’s book where the child character had a birthmark, so we wrote one. Connecting with birthmark parents from around the world has been truly amazing!”
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[Featured Image Credit: Kelly Bossley]