Freckle Face

Can you see it? Right there below the corner of his mouth? Faint but getting darker...

Chris told me today I’m obsessed with freckles. He’s not wrong.

I distinctly remember the first time Kostyn noticed my freckles, and the time I noticed Kostyn’s first freckle (on his right forearm). And his second one (behind his left thigh).

And just last week, he got his first freckle on his face, which coincidentally is in the exact same spot as one of my first facial freckles — right at the corner of my mouth. I know this not because I remember the day it appeared, but because I remember all the years my mother tried to wipe it off with a napkin or washcloth or spit-moistened thumb, mistaking it for some sort of crumb, a stray remnant from my last meal.

It was not.

I never really imagined or wished for either of my boys to inherit my skin, because frankly I've never liked it. I hate that my skin has only two shades: pasty white or sunburnt red. There are parts of me that appear to be tan, but when you get real close you realize it’s just that I have so many freckles they all sort of melt together to create the illusion of tanned skin. Not. The same. Thing.

Chris, on the other hand, has great skin — that olive-undertoned, tan-at-the-drop-of-a-hat skin that I so covet. I wanted my boys to inherit that skin. 

But so far, I gotta say, they’re both pretty pale. And Kostyn now has three freckles on one arm, two on the other, two on his legs and this one, "Just like Mommy!", on the corner of his mouth. (And yes, I slather both boys head to toe with sunscreen every day.)

So now I’ve started to daydream about what he’d look like with his nose and cheeks speckled with freckles. And I gotta say, the vision is pretty darn cute.

This is ironic, because I’ve never been fond of my own freckles. In fact I remember meeting a girl in college who had even more freckles than me, and when she said, "Don't you just love having so many freckles?!" she couldn't believe I rolled my eyes and said, "What?? I hate them!" 

"Are you kidding?! I LOVE my freckles!" she declared, and until that moment it had never occurred to me that there could be people who love having tons of freckles. Thing is, it had never occurred to her there could be people who DIDN'T love having them. We were equally astounded.

"But ... they're so different!" she said. "They make us stand out!"

"That's the problem," I replied. "I don't want people to notice me because of my freckles. I don't WANT to stand out."

What I remember about that conversation, besides how annoyingly bubbly she was about the subject, was that I thought she DID look great with freckles. They were adorable on her. I remember wishing I looked like her, which, in hindsight, is fairly crazy for the obvious reason that SHE HAD MORE FRECKLES THAN ME.

I guess what I didn't like about my freckles was that they’d taken over, covered everything exposed to the sun, as well as some spots that rarely get to see the light of day. Stupidly, I spent most of my life resenting them for doing that. But now I realize they aren’t covering me, they ARE me. And with each tiny sun spot that appears on my little boy, I see even more of me in him, and that makes me smile. They make me smile.

His AND mine.


Kim said...

Nicky and I spent the weekend in the sun and he woke up this morning, looked down at his arm and said "I have spots!" Unfortunately, he wasn't talking about freckles. He gets prickly heat...all...the....time. His cheeks are covered in a bright red rash.

He too inherited his skin from his mother. Because I'm simultaneously nursing a burnt, swollen face. We make quite the attractive pair.

I'd trade you for freckles any day. :P

Sheila said...

Every day I see more strands of gray hair overtaking my head and not so "fine" lines settling into the corners of my mouth and eyes. I look at my freckles as reminders of my fading youth!