Damn freckles. I have always felt like I got the shaft from the freckle fairy. For as long as I can remember I’ve had them. And for as long as I can remember I’ve hated them. When I was growing up, I envied girls with clear, beautiful skin. Even if they had a bit of acne, I could overlook that if they were freckle-less. I never had a problem with acne, but I felt as if I looked more like a leper. I didn’t just have a few freckles, I had a lot of dark freckles. All over my face. Made worse during the summer months when I was out in the sun all the time. When I was in my teens and had my own baby-sitting money to spend, I tried a variety of face creams that purported to make them fade.
What a waste of my hard-earned babysitting money.
When you’re young and all you want to do is fit in, you curse the things that make you different. I also hated my name for that very reason. It was just one more thing that made me stand out from everyone else. As we all now know, though, the older you get the more self-confident you become. Well, hopefully. And finally, one day, you begin to appreciate and dare I say, celebrate the things that make you different. I can’t say that I absolutely love my freckles, but I have come to really appreciate the uniqueness of my name. That is, the uniqueness of a totally and completely white-bread woman with pale skin and freckles named “Carmen”. And when I look in the mirror now, I don’t obsess about the freckles. In fact, I don’t even really see them – not that they have *poof* disappeared or anything.
I’ve moved on to obsessing about the wrinkles. So much for becoming more confident, right?
For my girls, freckles are one of the ways that they identify with me. They actually want freckles because I have freckles, and it is this fact that has really changed my perspective. Emily and Madison, who have both been blessed with clear olive-colored complexions, hunt for freckles on their body to point out to me, as if the freckles prove that they “belong” to me. And last year during the summer months, to my delight, cute little freckles started to pop out under Cameron and Quincy’s eyes. I tried to capture a good picture of them yesterday as they were playing outside.
It’s funny how much your kids can change your perception of things, especially your perception of yourself. If you let them.