Freckle face...

One of my favorite freckle-faces growing up, Punky Brewster, a.k.a. Soleil Moon-Frye

On Wednesday my five year old daughter, who has been asking to wear shorts since February, refused to wear shorts to Pre-K.  It was 90 degrees.  When we talked about it, she told me she didn't want anyone to see the freckles on her legs.  She has maybe two or three freckles combined on both legs. I have a bazillion.  I've had them as long as I can remember. They cover me like a blanket, act as my tan in the summer and give me character. At least that's what I like to think. 

At 35 I've come to accept them, but as a kid, I honestly remember hating them. They made me stand out when all I wanted to do was blend in.  While my friends were super tan by the end of summer, I was sitting on the beach covered in whatever goopy sunscreen was actually made in the 80s, and wearing a t-shirt in the pool. I, like most of my family, had the Irish Curse, which is torture for a preteen Long Islander.

Over the years I tried everything to cover the freckles and pastiness with a tan. I baked in baby oil, and tried the tanning bed, burning to a crisp. At fifteen, my friend and I experimented with one of the first self-tanning creams I remember. Ban de Soleil. Deep Dark Bronze.  Right. You can imagine how well that ended.  My fair-skinned partner and crime and I sheepishly went to school on Monday looking like Oompa Loompas and still smelling god-awful. If you've ever used these products, especially when they first came on the market, you'll know what I mean.

How do I then, who's spent the better part of my life hating my freckles, teach my little girl to embrace them? I really cringed inside when she told me how she was feeling. I felt so helpless and bothered that at five, she's already starting to worry about her looks. The phrase, "Am I ruining the baby?" floated through my head. It's one I used all the time when she was a baby and every phase was new to all of us.  Now I wonder if I'm ruining the big girl?  I know it's not about me. Really I do, and I also know that this too shall pass, but man, watching her feel insecure is hard.

I may not have the answers for my girl, but I can certainly do my best to lead by example and give her the tools she needs to come into her own.  While I still see other women who are beautifully golden and sigh a little, I'm good with it. This summer, like always, you'll find me at the beach covered in a big hat, wearing my husband's old white dress shirt, slathering myself and my kids in sunscreen, pale, freckly and happy.

Happy Friday!


  1. I always hated my freckles too! My almost 4 year old has already expressed her dislike of the few she has sprinkled across her nose. My hubby started calling her "freckles" at the beginning of summer because he thought they were so cute but she put a stop to that immediately. So sad!

  2. I know, Erin. I recently broke down and bought my daughter Julianne Moore's Freckleface Strawberry (which is adorable), but I'm not sure she's buying it, lol. Thanks for reading.