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Gillian and the Three Mole Stories

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Mole Story One

I can't recall when I first realized I had a mole under my arm. It was located in the center of my armpit. Early grade school is my best guess. For the most part, I was blissfully unaware of its presence. Doctors had assured my Mother that it was harmless and there was no need to remove it. It was in third grade that my awareness of it became more pronounced.

In those days desks were lined up in neat rows. Each pupil allotted to their assigned spot, usually in alphabetical order. It was towards the end of the school year and the classroom was hot and humid. There was no air conditioning in the school except for the administrative offices. The heat reflected my wardrobe choice. I wore a pair of shorts and a blouse that approached sleeveless-ness. A history lesson was in progress when our teacher asked a question of the class. I was one of "those" students. My hand was the first in the air, waving madly. I was sure I knew the correct answer. 

Our teacher pointed to me. As I was about to answer, I heard a loud sound and felt a sharp pain under my arm. Yelping and grimacing in pain I turned in the direction the sound had originated from. 

I could see "Bobby" seated at the desk next to mine holding his history textbook. He smiled and announced proudly, "I got it, you had a bug under your arm".

He had mistaken my mole for an insect. I was both mortified and furious at the same time.

This was not to be the last time those emotions would be associated with the presence of a mole on my body.


Mole Story Two

Fast forward to my life as a new Mother still possessing that mole. I had recently given birth to my first son and was gamely working on becoming a successful breastfeeding Mom. After a few weeks, my son and I had gotten the hang of things and had settled into a familiar routine. 

As any new mother knows, no matter what feeding method you choose, exhaustion is inevitable. I would often fall asleep nursing my son. After one particularly sleepless night followed by a hectic day, I fell asleep in a rocking chair while my son nursed contentedly. As I dozed, I felt a sharp pain in my armpit. My son in his search for a nipple had mistakenly tried to latch onto the mole under my arm. I was less than thrilled and resettled him to the appropriate destination.

Upon relating this story to my husband when he got home from work I was met with laughter. At first, I was angry, but soon saw the humor in the situation and we both ended up laughing hysterically. I think lack of sleep may have played a role in the extent of our hilarity. We found it hard to stop.

The next day I made an appointment with my doctor to have the mole removed. Having it mistaken for a bug and now a nipple, I felt the time had come. I had it removed and no more moles mistaken for other thing stories were going to be in my future. 

I was wrong.


Mole Story Three

Again, I can not recall when the mole appeared on my face. In the early years of my marriage is the closest I can pin it down. It was on my right cheek and the same color of my skin. I did not give it much thought. Makeup made it even less visible or so I thought. Over the years it did get a bit larger but still blended in enough to not bother me. Being a busy Mom of three boys left me a little time to worry about such trivial matters.

I did at one point consider having it removed, but my insurance would not cover the cost. It was considered a cosmetic procedure. The doctor told me the scar left would be more noticeable than the actual mole. If it changed or other complications arose they could remove it. I was able to get my earlier mole removed because having to shave around it I would frequently nick it with a razor. That removal they could justify medically.

When my youngest started grade school, I began to wade back into the workforce, substituting before taking on full-time teaching. I spent most of my time in special needs classrooms. My favorite times were spent working with autistic children. Being able to help them in any way I could was fulfilling. My students had varied verbal skills. Some were completely nonverbal while others would happily talk your ear off.

One day I arrived in a classroom I had not previously taught in. The students in this class were mostly fifth and sixth-graders that were high functioning and most had good verbal skills. One particular boy was happy to spend the first half hour of class telling me how his teacher ran the day. I was happy for the information but did notice him staring intently at my face while he spoke. This was not a common occurrence. Many autistic children have trouble making eye contact. This was not an issue for him. As he continued to talk and stare I began wondering exactly why he was staring. It became quite clear with his next words.

"Mrs. C, how come you have a nipple on your face?" he asked while pointing at my mole.

Mortified once again by a mole, I quickly put my hand over it. While trying not to laugh and cry, I explained to him that it was a mole.

"Oh," he replied. "Have you thought of having it looked at by a doctor?" 

At that point, I could not help but laugh. Trying to reign in my giggles, I assured him that it was harmless and I had consulted a physician. Satisfied he went back to his desk and got started on his assignments.

After that day I was careful to make sure I applied enough foundation and concealer to camouflage my "beauty" mole.

Thus ends the stories of my mortifying, horrifying and hilarious moles or so I hope. I do still have the one on my face, so more tales may be looming in my future. Wish me luck.




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