"I love you. I love your hair and your eyes. I love your mouth and your nose." I kissed Olive's cheeks and forehead.
"Nooo Mummy!" She was grumpy tonight, and we were in bed chatting before sleep.
"I do. I love all of you. Do you love me?"
"No." She was adamant!
"Aww, don't you love MY eyes? Or my hair?" C'mon, kid!
"Because I just love you."
I smiled and decided to be silly to cheer her up. "Do you love my nevus?"
She giggled and said, "you don't have a nevus Mummy! Just me!"
"Silly Mummy!" I said, "but some other people have a nevus. Just most people don't."
"Yeeeah coz I'm special aye Mum? Coz I have nevus on my back aye Mum?" She proceeded to pull up her pyjama's to show me her nevus.
"You sure are babe. Only some people have a nevus like you! And some people have one on their face, or their arm or maybe their leg. And sometimes people have an operation to remove their nevus."
She gasped! "Awww! Mummy that's sad. I don't want anyone to take my nevus away. I love my nevus! Nobody else can have it, coz it's mine!"
It touched me how passionate and emotional she was about it. This was the first time I'd ever mentioned anything to her about people removing CMN and to be honest I'm not sure why I even did! But her reply fills me with pride. To Olive, her nevus is the same as her nose, or ears, legs or arms. It is part of her body. To her, the prospect of somebody removing part of their body is unfathomable. Granted, she is just three years old, and her mind is pure and innocent and has no clue of the illnesses and troubles of life. But still, for her to be so energetically sad at the thought of taking her nevus away made me smile inside and filled me with a sense that we must be doing something right. She loves and accepts herself. May this continue long into her life.
Please don't read this as an insult to parents who choose removal. As I have said previously, I support all nevus parents decisions, though they may be different to our own. We all do the best we can for our children given our different circumstances. Because we have chosen to leave Olive's nevus in tact, our wish for her has always remained the same as the day she was born - to accept and love herself for who she is. For her to know that in a world obsessed with beauty and perfection, that everyone is beautiful and nobody is perfect.