My daughter is a typical 4 year old.. She wants to be just like her Momma. The beauty about this is that she already has the main ingredients to take after me: a strawberry tint to her hair, curls curls & more curls, a sassy attitude, a feisty temper, and freckles.
The first freckle came out sometime last summer and when I found it, I couldn’t contain my excitement. “Look Aubrey, you have a freckle! Just like Momma!” Her face lit up like the 4th of July. From that day on, she has called them her “sparkles” and she periodically makes sure to count them and check that they didn’t somehow fade away.
Sometime this week, we were in the car and she started talking about her “sparkles.” “Momma, look my sparkles! I have a bunch! I’m just like YOU, Momma!” I beamed with pride. But after a few minutes, I started feeling sad.. what if she gets as many as me instead of the few cute ones she has now? What if she doesn’t always love her sparkles? I was the only one in my family with millions of freckles and I loved them until I was teased for them. Then, I spent over a decade trying to hide them. No doubt, one day, my little girl might come home in tears because someone will call her freckle-face or say how ugly they are. They are going to take something that she’s proud of and make her ashamed of who she is.. who she was born to be.. and something she absolutely cannot change even if she wants to.
In that moment, a poem formed in my head. I hope to instill in her an unshakeable foundation of self confidence and self love but, I will keep it just in case she needs it. In case she hates her sparkles one day.
I hope, babygirl, that you’re always proud
Of your self and the sparkles on your skin
Mama had the same growing up
But she was ashamed of them
Each new mark from the sun’s rays
Lights up your face aglow
Don’t ever let anyone tell you
That they need to cause you sorrow
Because, you see, the sparkles are lovely
Just like your precious face
And as you grow older
They will wish to be in your place
Your curls will make you different
And your skin will never tan
Do not get discouraged, darling
They’re all done by His hand
You were made just like your Mama
And right now that makes your day
And nothing could make me happier
Than if you stayed this way