WHEN A BELLY BUTTON IS MORE THAN AN OLD SCAR.

I remember Australian physician, writer and media personality, Dr Cindy Pan wrote a short blurb in the local newspaper about body quirks and mentioned belly buttons and how, if a person requires plastic surgery to remove an apron of skin after dramatic weight loss, the surgeon asks if they want the umbilicus, as it is more formally named, preserved. She said that most people are horrified at the thought of losing it, despite not having any functional loss.

I have also seen YouTube videos where people have been challenged to insert a cotton bud or q-tip nto their belly button, leave it there are then take it out and show if there is any dirt on it and say what it smells like. And, I have seen that the belly button is the dirtiest place on the body and is full of microorganisms. And, typically, if you’re a male, it can be a trapping ground for lint and clothing fibres.

But what else can a belly button represent? Well, your belly button is a reminder that as a mammal, you are born of female. As a human, you are born of woman, regardless of your biological sex and gender.

Many a time I read of the sadness that one feels when their mother passes away. Sometimes, your relationship with your mother may be problematic, especially if you were made feel unwanted and unloved, but many a time, there is a great sense of sadness.

The anniversary of the passing of one’s mother, when the relationship is one of love, is triggering of sadness and I remember once, I said to a friend of mine that what they could do, if they wanted to, was get two photos of their mother that meant a lot to them, he they framed or not. Then, quietly, in their own space, lie down on a bed, day bed, sofa or couch, and place one photo of their mother face down over their belly button, and the other over their heart. The first to symbolise that they were born of their mother and that their belly button is the separation scar from their mother. The second to show that their mother lives on in their heart.

And, contrary to what the right-wingers will have you believe, a child raised by two same-sex parents, in the case of a child with two dads, many a time the surrogate receives progress updates, and some children, unconventional as some may find it, may even say, “I’m raised by my two dads and every second weekend, I go to see my mum and her husband or wife.” I actually know a woman wife a wife and their two kids and every second weekend, her kids go and see their father, and his wife accepts them as kids. And, contrary to what the right-wingers claim, these kids are well-adjusted, happy kids.

And if your mother is your adopted mother, that doesn’t matter, either.

And, if you are a mother whose child predeceased you, you can lay down with two pictures of your child, one over your belly button and one over your heart, to symbolize that your child grew in your tummy and pushed your belly button out, and one that your child lives on in your heart.

The belly button, as well as being a bit of old scar tissue, can be a reminder of a special bond. The bond between mother and child.

Diagnosed with autism at 35. Explained a lifetime of difference.