The rose-colored mark on my wife's cheek is called a port wine stain. It is a birthmark caused by small capillaries that remain in the dilated state they were in while a baby is in the womb. When she was little, she just told people it was a kiss from God. I think she was right.

Now and then someone says to us, "You know, they can remove those with laser surgery!" My polite answer is, "It is beautiful, and she is beautiful, and why on earth would anyone want to change her?" The less polite answer that always lurks beneath the surface is, "Anyone trying to 'correct' the face of my adorable little girl is going to find their own face abruptly and crudely modified." The idea that a mark, beautiful in itself but making her look different from most other people, is in need of correction, is nauseating to me.

Thanks for letting me vent. Incidentally, I have a related hemangioma on my left arm. Mine is a group of clusters of small veins just under the skin that form bumpy blue marks. It is much less aesthetically pleasing than my wife's port wine stain, but I have always resisted having it removed. I guess my attitude has always been, "Surgery to make me a little less unique? No thank you."

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