Emmy and I had just taken Lily to school. I left Emmy playing in my bedroom while I jumped in the shower. As I came into the bedroom to get dressed, Emmy paused in her playing and looked at me.
“Mommy, why do you have only one nipple?” she asked.
I was prepared for this question; her big sister had asked me that very same question when she was about Emmy’s age.
“I had cancer, and the doctors had to take it off,” I answered, as I started getting my underwear and bra on.
Emmy thought about this, and then she said, “Did they use a special scissors?”
How to answer that one?
“Close — the doctors used a special knife.” I suppose a scalpel is a kind of a knife.
Showing empathy with my close encounter with said knife, Emmy then asked, “Did it hurt?”
Well, I had been knocked out for the actual surgery. “No, the doctors made sure it didn’t hurt,” I told her, not wanting to go into all the pain I did feel after the surgery.
Emmy followed me into the bathroom. I smeared lotion on my face while Emmy peered up at me.
“Mom, I want to look like a kitty-cat today,” Emmy declared.
My children know what I look like. They know, and they love me just the same.