Friday, July 10, 2009

Making peace with my freckles

The other day, I was driving somewhere with all three kids in the car. I listened quietly from the front seat to their happy banter,relishing the back-and-forth between them.

That is, until I heard these words said by Hannah:

"I hate my freckles. I have so many of them and they make me look so ugly."

McKay responded with this:

"I hate mine, too. They make me look like such a little kid. I wish I didn't have any freckles."

Horrified, I realized they were repeating VERBATIM things that have come from my own mouth.

I glanced in the rear view mirror, frowning slightly at my face full of them, and took a deep breath. I jumped in and told them how much I love their freckles and my freckles, and how cute they look on all of us. I told them their freckles were angel kisses from heaven, and that it meant we were special.

That brilliant plan worked well until the one child WITHOUT freckles piped up and asked if that meant he wasn't special.

Crap.

Can't win here, can I?

Anyhoo, I have decided from here on out to publicly embrace my freckles, lest my children develop a complex and feel slightly unattractive all their lives thanks to me. I will stop complaining out loud about them. I will stop whining about them while flipping through People magazine. And I will try to stop comparing my skin to all the non-freckly skin out there.

We are what we are, and that's good, too. (Any one know which old musical that fabulous line comes from? It's a classic.)

It does not mean, however, that I will stop photoshopping them away every chance I get. Like this picture from last summer (when my hair was so gloriously long).

Before:

And after:

(Admit it, the after is so much better. Just don't admit it in front of my kids)

48 comments:

Jen said...

You're gorgeous. My daughter has been saying the same things about her freckles. I have them and maybe I do say things when I think no one is listening. I, too, will make the effort to embrace me - freckles, rolls and lumps.

Annemarie said...

I know I should be making a comment about freckles, but I can't get over the "happy banter between children in the car" comment. I don't even know what that is these days.

Tristan said...

I don't have a freckle problem, but I am trying my hardest not to pass on my complexes about myself to my girls.

You are beautiful my friend! I honestly like the before picture!

Rosie said...

Thank you for the reminder that one of my biggest (and hardest) responsibilities as a mom is to love myself. Freckles and dimples in the wrong cheeks and all.

mary elizabeth said...

the old saying must be true: the grass is always greener on the other side.

i don't have many freckles, but i sure have always wanted a cute freckly face. i love freckles! you look gorgeous with them!

Aubrey said...

I think freckles are cute--really. And I think they help disguise lack-of-tan on some people. And I think that freckles are 5,000 million times better than the curse zits all over that never seem to go away. Yeah, that's me. Talk about having something that makes you look like a kid forever. ;)

mae said...

I agree with Tristan, I like the before picture better too. Your freckles are beautiful.

Trade ya- freckles for keratosis pilaris (aka my curse) tiny red dots all over my arms and legs. They are starting to come in on my little boy's arms and it wigs me out. I need to make peace with it so he doesn't have the same issues with is body that I do!!

the wrath of khandrea said...

i'd do you either way.

the wrath of khandrea said...

except i'm straight.

the wrath of khandrea said...

plus skip would never go for it.

Jane of Seagull Fountain said...

I like the first photo. You look a bit Stepford-y in the second one.

I have come to this same realization about fat. I can't call myself fat if I don't want to hear my (NOT fat) daughters call themselves fat.

Mel @ A Box of Chocolates said...

As one freckle faced gal to another, I totally understand! My son has freckles and complains a lot. My daughter always says, "boy, I hope I don't get all those spots mommy." Yeah, I love her too! It is a great lesson for us to learn though that if we are going to complain about our flaws then we are teaching our kids to be unhappy with themselves too. However, anytime you want to show me your photoshop trick to taking out the freckles, I'm all ears!!

Jenibelle said...

I love freckles. I love them on my kids and I wish I had more. My mother says that they are angel kisses for when you did good things. Obviously you are much better than I.

melissa ( : said...

I LOVE your freckles.

Alissa said...

no way. that after is not better. some of my favorite people in this life have freckles, including me.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_X8QD40gtrhw/SgieaS44nlI/AAAAAAAABpQ/trV7IvAAOYI/s1600-h/05102009-25.jpg

Vanessa said...

No way is the after better I have come to ADORE freckles, when my daughters started getting them and I realized how cute they were I then loved my own :)

♥Shally said...

When I was in 7th grade, my science teacher made me stand up in front of the class to show everyone my birth defects aka dimples.

I seriously hated them for a long time after that.

I love your freckles! I think they are beautiful and unique. We won't call them birth defects though, m-kay? :)

Stacy Holmes said...

I have had to embrace my ears for the same reason. I hate them..but don't tell my son..cuz he got them! I tell him they look great on him and he is so lucky to be the only kid that got my sticky out ears..if only I believed it, too!

Christie in Dallas, TX said...

What a great magic trick with that second picture! :-) Cella is starting to get all of the freckles that my DNA was kind enough to pass on to her. Thankfully she thinks they are great now, but when she's 13, I'm sure it will be a different story. And I'll refer back to this post and be reminded to "publicly embrace" the freckles...

Tyler said...

I just picked up my wife's computer and your mug was on it. I think you're wrong about the freckles. Better with 'em.

Beckie Steele said...

Hello...I had NO idea you had cute freckles until I caught you without the make-up. I told you then and I'll tell you again...I LOVE THEM! You were good that day in telling Miss Hannah how cute hers were. :) Personally, I think Daniel Craig would really love them (but a little cleavage won't hurt!).

Woman Interrupted said...

Ahh, yes. Freckles. Another thing I *love* about myself.

Why do we pick ourselves apart?

I grew up hating my curly hair. No one really knows I have it anymore b/c I've been burning it straight for ten years.

But my son, now his curls are adorable, precious, too cute for words...

brooke said...

Can we be soul mates/best blogger friends forever? I swear I could have written this post. I have the same freckly problem (but mine have faded a lot of the years, or maybe it's that I have so many, I'm now just a splotch.) In the next life, I'm going to beg for skin that tans--at least you tan!

My kids don't have freckles (yet) and I find myself hoping they don't get them--not because I think they wouldn't be cute with them but because I know what a curse they have been for me!

Oh, and I like the before picture better too. They are your trademark and they are darling.

Paige said...

I know people hate freckles who have them but I think they are gorgeous. Did you see my new SIL and her fantastic freckles??? After seeing those pics how can you even think freckles are not the most gorgeous thing ever? Charlotte has a few and I always hope she gets more like Auntie Aubrey. I love that you are forced to embrace them.

calibosmom said...

My ten year old is a freckle face and this has become one of her favorite songs. http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/n/natasha_bedingfield/freckles.htmlr
We call them fairy footsteps at our house. Love them!!!

calibosmom said...

The song didn't paste correctly. It's called Freckles by Natasha Bedingfield.

Travelin'Oma said...

It's definitely true. Kids say what they hear. Little tiny girls who can hardly talk look and the mirror and say, "I look fat." They think that's what people say to the mirror. You're very wise. Think of each freckle as a compliment.

danandcindy said...

That line about angel kisses is a bunch of crap. I never bought into it, so you should never have repeated it. So, tell your little kids, that their cool red-headed-freckle-faced uncle has them, and he's incredibly handsome.

Holly said...

My oldest has freckles like I do and I think they're adorable. He hates it when I tell him he's handsome, but so far he doesn't make a lot of critical comments about himself. My youngest has completely fair, olive skin. I have the fair, freckles and I've worked hard to not say things about them or my weight in front of my boys.

My youngest tells me that I should lose weight though. As if I don't know it already!

♥Maren said...

SO glad to have Dan back. Doesn't he want to come visit you?

ANYWAY, you did the right thing! Lie you heart out... because they pick up on EVERYTHING.

I 'love' VTing and spiders - and it makes me everytime my girls make positive comments about those two things!

BTW - I ALWAYS wanted freckles!☺

ellen said...

Freckles are cool!

Becka said...

Absofreakinlutely NOT. I Will NOT say the second picture looks better. It looks boring. You are adorable. Adorable AND beautiful. You can't beat that. It's like having a combo of Drew Barrymore and Julia Roberts. Cute and pretty.
You look like most of us would want to look. Except me. I like the way I look, but I kinda wish my freckles were darker.

Chatter said...

I too will join the freckle fan club. I love them! My mom and youngest brother have them and I'm terribly jealous. However, I am super impressed with your photo shop skills. I really need to come visit you!

You are beautiful!

Jessica said...

Same same same.

I started loving them as soon as they started turning into hideous brown age spots.

My Jane has that crooked smile, you know, and we make the biggest deal about how much we love it and how pretty it is (cause it is) and she has started being SO EMBARRASSED about it this year. I was so surprised, because I thought we'd totally keep her from any complex by just admitting it was there but talking it up all the time.

I guess there's no way to win with any abnormalities. Boo.

christina-defining moments said...

I think you and your freckles are beautiful!

Hazen5 said...

I love freckles, wish I had more! We call them chocolate chips in our house. I try to eat them off my kids any chance I get. That usually gets them laughing!

Lauren in GA said...

You are going to think I am just saying this but...man, you are gorgeous.

I loved the last line of, "Just don't admit it in front of my kids." Your humor is just, so, so good. Always.

danandcindy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy said...

I have always thought you are beautiful... freckles and all! and on a side note, I need some photoshop lessons!

Julie From Inmates said...

Those perfect teeth don't even allow me to notice your freckles which by the way - even if I did I think they are adorable.

kayla & tyler said...

Ohh! I actually LOVE your freckles, they are way cute! I have tons of freckles too, especially when I'm really tan and I actually really like them. i've had tons of people tell me that they love my freckles too. I think you are gorgeous with them! embrace the freckles! :)

Ilene said...

My middle boy is getting freckles. It is the cutest thing ever. I'm so happy about it and kind of feel sorry for my non-freckled babies.

Musings of a Housewife said...

My kids HATE their freckles. I adore them. And I think yours are beautiful. I don't have a ton. I just have nasty moles all over my body. UGH. I guess we all have stuff we don't like. :-)

Amanda D said...

I love and adore your freckles too. I've always wished for some. I have a few on my arms as I get older, but I'd love to have a smattering across my nose.

hannah said...

I am a freckle lover. i have them. i love them on other people. i actually prefer the unphotoshopped version!! i think they are so beauitful.

findads said...

You have got to be kidding me, you are beautiful. Those freckles are special and do not detract but rather ad to your beauty.

Mání said...

Hello there,

I don't know how I ended up on your page, but I feel compelled to answer your final remark ("Admit it, the after is so much better"). I must say : wrong, oh so wrong! The second pic makes you look like you have a bizarre type of skin, whereas your skin is absolutely magnificent on the first pic. Your freckles are gorgeous! Besides, they tend to add gentleness or kindness to your traits AND they emphasize your eyes... Lovely, lovely, lovely.

The way I understand things about freckles (I don't have them) is that kids hate them, but tend to understand how beautiful they are as they grow up. Anyhow, good thing that you started embracing yours, but you really shouldn't photoshop them away from your photos, no, no way, never! ;)

Hope a Frenchman's viewpoint brought something in the discussion! Regards from Paris...

Anonymous said...

Why do people with freckles hate them and those without think they are ADORABLE?!
Christie, you are adorable. DO NOT photoshop out the freckles. Besides, freckles make you look younger.
I don't even get why we are having this discussion!

38 year old male (no freckles)