The story behind the smile… the story behind the photo is one of a child with a rare disease on the first day of school who found excitement covered by fear.
In this photo, large red lesions covered the skin of an otherwise smiling face and joyful young woman. A sweater on the 92 degree day was worn to mask the red posts along with high socks and a long dress strategically placed around the worst of them. Her positive and calm demeanor were met with anxious feelings and fear about what the other children would say if they saw.
She told kids they were bug bites. Then she was sick of that story so she said they were rug burns to others. Overall, she was scared. She told a story because she did not want to get into her disease with everyone (so she said).
The lies she had to tell others to feel confident on her first day of school were challenging to hear as a parent.
Consequently, the parents of a child with a rare disease felt anxious and were at a loss for words. Their brave child embarked on a new year in a way they never experienced before.
Sometimes the smile a child is wearing is not reflective of the feelings they face inside.
The story behind this photo is one we will not forget, but one we are proud to share to remind us all to share a kind word to make someone’s day. You never know what is going on behind the smile.