And I know you're dying to know the comment that actually triggered a blog post from me. But first, you should know that I absolutely don't consider this comment to be mean. Although I don't agree with it, the honesty is refreshing.
Someone wrote about Carter, He's going to need his ears pinned. He's cute though. (If you're not familiar with the surgical procedure of ear pinning, click here.)
You knew it was coming someday. Yes, she's going to write about the baby's big ears.
In my video footage and photos, you can see that Carter's ears stick out, but they aren't nearly as blatant through the eye of the internet as they are when you see him in person. Truly, all you see are ears. The big, blue round eyes come second into your line of vision. It's just the way his features work.
Strangers in public act taken back by how adorable he is. And I do believe they're marveling on the inside from the cuteness--the cuteness, that is, the ears.
And everyone wants to say it. I can feel them wanting to say it. It's in the air, but they don't dare grab the words --Gosh, his ears are so big and cute! But nobody says it. They pause, they let their wide eyes and silent air hang there, then they finally gush, He's sooo cute! Upon closer examination, some people make it further to, Woah, his eyes are amazing. The ears are always left completely untouched for the entire conversation.
And I stand there thinking, Why? Why don't you just say something about his ears? They're right here, hitting you in the face. He's swinging them over his shoulder like a continental soldier, and they're so stinking cute! At this point, even a simple, woah .. ears, would be acceptable.
Pretending not to notice them just makes everything awkward. The look on your face, awkward. You trying to keep your mouth from hanging open while you're staring, awkward. Commenting on his ears won't offend me. Any (rare, occasional) mention of his ears makes my heart beam with proudness and feel gratitude and admiration to the person who's not afraid to state the obvious. Because when you comment on his ears, that's when I know you mean it when you say he's cute.
My hunch is that people's hearts go out for me a little because I'm a mother with a big-eared baby. I remember a few years ago seeing a baby whose ears only slightly curved outward (and this was after I studied him kinda hard). The ears didn't make him unattractive by any means, but still, my reaction was to feel bad for his mother and hope that my own babies didn't have big ears. And I know this was my exact thought for myself because I also remember telling myself I was a horrible person for even thinking that thought. How ironic.
The irony takes another twist, and shows me about four years later in love with a pair of soft, beautiful, big ears. You would think I'm saying I love his ears as some sort of defense mechanism, but I don't even think his ears need defending. They're my absolute favorite feature on my baby.
If, in October 2009, I had gone through 21 hours of labor and ended up only pushing out 2 floppy, adorable ears, I would still be blissfully in love (confused, but in love). The ears make him Carter. They enhance his baby face to the extreme and give him an adorable, cartoon-ish, puppy look.
So, let's return to that honest YouTube comment and kinda what I wanted the point of this post to be. Pinning ears. Cosmetic surgery for children with features that will most likely cause them to be made fun of. Judging by the size and shape, he won't be growing into these ears. As a parent, can I really make a decision like this for my child when he comes home from school, possibly with tear streaks lining his face, and tells me kids make fun of him? Wasn't he given the ears so he can endure the bullying as a kid and grow up to be stronger and better than all those kids and kick their asses Donald Trump/FacebookDorkyGuy-style? I could leave the decision up to him, but who really knows what age a child is prepared enough to make that kind of permanent decision for his life? Kids switch from Superman to Batman to Ironman on a monthly basis.
In my childhood, I had to wear enormous, thick glasses (I had several other nerdy features to overcome, but I'm trying to keep this simple). I was made fun of throughout elementary school. I hated it, I would never relive it or wish for those years back. They are over, and they made me who I am now.
My mom will still tell you those glasses were cute.
If his ears are pinned, his future will be changed. He won't learn the same kind of strength, but it could also push him into a category that kids really long for while they're growing up - normalcy. Is our childhood more important than our adulthood?
Not to mention what a cosmetic surgery like that would do to my heart. I'd almost put it in the same category as seeing your child get a tattoo: messing with perfection. Messing with simplicity and the way your body was meant to be. I imagine myself feeling personally offended looking at a post-surgery, normal-eared Carter. The ears are part of the strings he and I have used to tie our bond.
It's a fact:
*Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
*It's been interpreted that big ears predict survival. Men with smaller ears may die at younger ages because ear size may be a marker of biological process related to health.