A mole

A mole

Small. Not really a mole as such, more a large freckle. And it’s been on the back of my son’s leg since he was born 3 years and 10 months ago, except yesterday he noticed it for the first time. At bathtime. And it freaked him out.


“It’s okay son it’s just a freckle. I have lots. Look!” I showed T one on my arm.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! DADDY! NO, NO NO! GET IT OFF ME, I DON’T WANT IT!” but this time at volume setting 11. Perhaps showing T mine wasn’t such a good idea.

We have books about how the human body works. One of them, hilariously, has a baby doing a crafty poo. It’s amazing what the body can do. We’ve sung Heads, Shoulder, Knees and Toes, so we know those are all there and where they are and that’s cool. We’ve got past the stage of T discovering he has a willy and being fascinated it. He doesn’t put his hands down there any more when standing idly, or before dinner. He’s cool with it because he’s got used to it.

But a freckle. A birthmark. Something he’s had since day 1 and has only just noticed? That’ll freak you out a bit.

They don’t tell you this in the parenting guides. That one day, quite randomly, your child will notice something about themselves and suddenly freak out about it. Or how to deal with it. So we thought quickly. Perhaps me showing T my myriad of freckles wasn’t such a good idea.

“It’s a special spot. A tiny freckle that makes you, you and you special. It doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t cause a problem. It’s there because it’s special and because you’re very special. And it will always be there.”

I thought I could leave the scientific and possibly genetic reasons behind such things to my ex wife, as that’s more her bag. Besides, it was getting late.

He seemed happier with this but looked at me a bit suspiciously. He kept mentioning it later. And scratching his leg like it was suddenly bothering him.

“Does it hurt?”


“Then please stop scratching it.”

“But I know it’s THERE!”

‘From your shrieking earlier so does the entire town’ I thought, but didn’t say. I reiterated the special spot thing, and told him we call it a freckle. A freckle. And then I realised how lovely the word ‘freckle’ is.

I said to T I’d read him an extra story as he was a bit discombobulated. He chose the story  and he chose ‘Lost and Found’ by Oliver Jeffers. The story of something small that turns up unexpectedly and causes a small boy some worries, but ultimately something which he learns to love.

I hope this is also the story of my son’s freckle.

Have your children been through something similar? Suddenly realising something about themselves or their bodies and how did you deal with it? All comments and experiences would be great to read.

Thanks for reading.

10 responses to “A mole

  1. You handles that well! My son has a red birthmark, going away now, but since he was born , on his um… testicles. He noticed it finally a few months ago in the bath. He didn’t have a freak out (like I did when I saw it for the first time) and he was fine, in fact he notices that it’s fading. So, tht one down, though he’s always be noticed if he became a porn star!

  2. Thing 3 had to look closely at face for school so that she could do a self portrait. She came home concerned about the smattering of freckles across her nose. I told her that they were just where her skin had differences in colour. I went on to say that some people called them kisses from the sun and others call them fly poop. Funnily enough she prefers the latter.

  3. My daughter was born with a birthmark covering all of her right arm from shoulder blade to finger tip. The limb swelled to twice its size, split open and looked like salami. Parents at baby clinics clearly thought I’d plunged it in a vat of boiling oil. We told her it was a special arm and that it helped God could identify her quickly when He gazed down. Only last year when she turned 9 did it start to worry her. We explained that lots of people are born with differences, but many are hidden or internal. I sympathise with your son, though. Last month noticed a mighty fissure across my forehead while I was plucking my chin in the Vicar’s shaving mirror.My reaction was similar.

    • Thanks. You’ve given me something else to mention to him if he mentions if again: people are different and we’re all special and that’s a wonderful thing.
      Thanks for your comment. Much appreciated.

  4. My son is fascinated by mine. Strangely, for an ASD child, he takes things like this in his stride, but explaining them to my other 2 when they were little we called them beauty spots, meaning you were marked beautiful xx

  5. My boy has a freckle like that too on the back of his calf and he freaked out and tried to scratch the oweeee off until I showed him mine inthe same place and think he is ok although when he does remember it’s there he has to shove it in my face to show me and then go check for mine and make sure it hasn’t fallen off 🙂

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