Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

A sad & heartbreaking milestone happened in our home yesterday.
I was in Claire's room changing her diaper & Kate came in to hang out with us.
Claire has mirrored closet doors in her room & Kate was looking at herself intently in the mirrors.
Kate started wiping her face over and over again.
I asked her what she was doing and she turned to me with big crocodile tears & said,
"Get them off!!!!"

"Get what off?" I responded. (There was nothing on her face)
"These marks. These dots. Get them off my face" She was sobbing.
At that point, my heart literally broke.
Kate had noticed the little sprinkling of freckles that have shown up across her face this summer.
I tried to hold in my tears as I reasoned with and tried to console my oldest daughter.
(Typing this out & remembering this is making me cry again)
As we sat on the floor of Claire's room with tears running down both of our faces I reminded Kate that she is beautiful. I told her that her freckles are kisses from God. I reminded her that lots of people have freckles...Mommy, Auntie El, Auntie Bots, her cousins & some of her friends have freckles.
I told her they are cute & they are unique.
She wasn't buying it. She still wanted them off. She wouldn't stop crying. She kept trying to wipe them off her face. My heart kept sinking & sinking.
(sorry Kate, I am part English/Scottish/Irish/Danish...the odds of you getting freckles are high)

So, I did what any good mom would do, I offered her chocolate & gave her some M&Ms.
It seemed to quell her emotions for the time being and I haven't heard about the freckles since then.
I felt like I had been punched in the stomach... How is it possible that my daughter who will be exactly 3.5 years old tomorrow is brought to tears because of the way she looks?
This is one of my fears about being a mother to two little girls.
Girls have self esteem issues. I have self esteem issues.
I could very easily list about 20 things about my looks that I don't like about myself.
I don't want my girls to have self esteem issues, although I know it is hard to avoid.
I want my girls growing up with confidence in who God created them to be.
I want them to know that they are fearfully & wonderfully made.
I want them to not compare themselves to other people & for them to be thankful and happy with the talents that God has given them.
I want them to know that they are loved for who they are.
(preaching to the choir....)
This is a BIG task, raising girls (and boys for that matter)
God has entrusted me (and Kevin) to raise up the girls in this scary, scary world.
Each day I realize more and more how unequipped I am for this job.
Each day I realize more and more how I need to rely on God to be the Mom that I need to be.
I don't have the strength, wisdom or patience to do it on my own.
I feel asleep last night with tears streaming down my face crying out to God & begging him to protect my girls from self esteem issues and asking Him to give Kevin and I guidance as we mother these 2 beautiful & amazing girls.
Ironically, all of these pictures of Kate last week when she was dressing up in her Princess clothes & staring at herself in the mirror that is in our living room (but not hung up yet). As I took these pictures she was busy admiring herself & singing at the top of her lungs, "I am a Princess, oh yes, I am a Princess!". She was so busy admiring herself as a Princess that she didn't even notice the freckles on her face....
Psalm 139: 13-14

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.


  1. This post brought tears to my eyes. God has entrusted a daughter to us as well. It's one of my greatest fears that Alice will pick up on my self esteem issues and have some herself.
    Thank you for this. It was a great reminder!

  2. Ok, now I have tears running down my face...I would have done the same, offered chocolate ;) I never knew that being a mom would be the hardest job I'd ever have, but I'm so thankful that I have our Lord to cry out too and guide us as parents. I wish that I had something really insighful to say, but I would just say to keep praying and trusting the Lord. B/c that is what I do daily and He never fails!

  3. Reading that even made ME cry! Kate is such a pretty girl and freckles are the best! I love the Bible verse you added at the end too, one of my faves.

  4. That makes my heart sad.

    But I personally LOVE freckles. I think they're adorable.
    I have them too. Mine really show up during the summer because of the sun.

  5. Yes. How heartbreaking when a little one sees something other than the beauty of a child made in the image of God in the mirror. Your heart is right though as your identifying the issues instead of brushing it off as a cute comment from your girl. I know that God will lead you as you guide your beautiful daughters.

    "A face without freckles is like a night without stars"

  6. Oh Mel...I am hugging you right now...ok? Zoey's freckles are one of my favorite things about her. I was so excited when she got them last summer. I remember hating mine as a kid (and still do).

    I have the same fears as you and I think every mom can relate to your post about HATING their body (I know I do and always have) and wanting to shield their kids from harboring negative things about themselves...failing to see just how perfect they are.

    and.....coming from another purple girl...I think Kate needs an upgrade in her fairy princess costume. Purple would look so much better.

  7. ps... I am stealing JuliaVP's quote!!! I love it

  8. LOVE that verse! Sweet girl! And you are right, I think parenting girls is more difficult than parenting boys!

  9. "You are Special" by Max Lucado

    It is a great children's book that I know your girls would love to have read to them.

    Thanks for sharing such a tough moment because it's an issue that isn't really talked about enough. Like someone else commented, I have a daughter and pray that I don't pass on my insecurity issues.

  10. Oh my goodness, you should have had a disclaimer on this post. I am fighting back the tears (um, and I'm at work). You and Kevin are doing a great job with Kate and you know God wouldn't have entrusted you with the girls if He didn't already know you were the PERFECT parents for them. Such a good reminder to be conscious of how we respond to and praise our children though. I try so hard not to tell Mason he is "handsome". We put so much emphasis on looks without even knowing it, especially for girls. I tell him he's "smart" or "sweet" or "thoughtful" instead.

    Thanks for sharing this, Mel.

    Your freckled friend :)

  11. I totally relate to Kate. I HATED my freckles when I was little. And, to top if off, people always commented on how cute they were and it would really make me mad. It wasn't until I was thirty that I started to love my freckles. I seems like us freckled people all go through the freckle-hate stage. I hope she gets through it soon!

  12. :( that breaks my heart!! I'm with you and have a huge fear of my girls having self esteem issues. I have major self esteem issues, and often (outloud and in front of my girls) will criticize myself. I know that it's one of the worst things I can do, and am trying (hard) to work on it!

    Give Kate a great, big hug from us!! That girl is way too precious for words!

  13. Now I've got watery eyes too. What a heartbreaking moment. Katie (and Claire) are so beautiful. As are you.

    As a mother of two daughters myself I can totally relate. My girls are going to be TALL too, and I want to teach them to stand tall and to be proud of who they are. It's hard to teach girls not to compare themselves to anyone else, but I think most importantly, to be a good example for them as their mother is something that we can do.

    Hugs to you and Kate. And priceless pictures of her in her costume in front of the mirror. So sweet.

  14. Kieran did the same thing not that long ago, only it was about his birthmark on his arm. I was brought to tears as well because it had always been something he was proud of-it may have been because I asked about it at the doctor. I assumed it would always stay the same size (don't know why), but the doctor told us as he grows, it will grow. I think when he heard that, unbeknownst to me I planted a seed of worry. I have to be more careful! He wanted to rub it off, and it made me sad because this is how he entered the world. Thankfully, he has since gotten over it, and is once again proud. I explained to him that not everyone is as lucky to have something so special, and when he looks at it, he can always remember how happy mommy was the day he was born. Not an easy thing, freckles. Being red headed, fair skinned and freckled, I know that all too well. Rest assured, Kate will learn to love all the ways in which she was created so beautifully, so perfectly, freckles and all :)

  15. Oh, I love that we have almost the exact age girls! I always remember the verse to "train up your child in the way that they should go." And remember to choose powerful words to say to and around Allikaye! I love that last verse...so awesome! We need to stay reading eachothers blogs so i can empathize and sympathize with eachother! In the meant time...we will continue to train up Women of God...with some chocolate to console us!

  16. Oh, Melissa...I hear you girl. Two girls sometimes feels like so much and the world is sending them a million and one messages about what it means to be beautiful.

    G weighs 41 lbs and is often mistaken for a 5 year old. I know as she gets older, it will be a struggle to be taller and stronger than so many other girls. It'll be compounded by the fact that her sister is likely to be much more petite. People already make the most foolish remarks and compare them, which I have become emboldened to correct publicly.

    And, it starts so, so early. G recently donned play jewelry and a head band and announced herself, "Beautiful." I didn't want to burst her bubble, but was quick to tell her that beauty comes from the inside and is not a product of what you put on your body. Hope I said the right thing...

    Guess we are on this journey together!

  17. Geez, girl, way to make me cry!!!! I agree 110%!!!!! So hard to raise a family in these trying times. We do though have the wonderfulness of Him to give us strength and we have to believe : D I LOVE that Psalm so much, it's beautiful!!!! I myself struggle with the me that God "knitted" me to be. Let's hope we can radicate this in our girls!!!!!! P.S. (on a much lighter note) I know you just moved in and all but really? How did you get a room clean enough that there is nothing in that mirror!!!! Ha Ha Ha LOL!!!!

  18. I found your blog from Kelly's Korner (your grilled paninis) and have spent almost most of my daughter's naptime reading through past posts. I am a mom of one little girl - almost 3 years old -and I am new to blogging. You have a beautiful family! It makes me teary eyed to think of times when our daughters will be upset over how they look. My daughter has one of my physical traits that I was insecure about as a teen and I have already been praying that she won't have the same feelings about it as I did. Your blog is so cute and I really enjoyed reading! I'll be following!

  19. I found your site from a grilling recipe you posted on Kelly's Korner and can't find the post now, but it was delicious, we had the panini's for lunch today. Thank you for sharing, and your girls are beautiful, freckles and all. I would have been right there with you, I would not want my daughter (ok I don't have a daughter yet, a 21 month old son instead)feeling bad about herself, and since she's a girl I'm sure the chocolate helped, it always does, right!? ;)

  20. I have to admit I haven't read the other comments, so please ignore if this is a repeat!

    My daughter also noticed about a year ago that she suddently had freckles. Luckily we were able to play it as a good thing and she always asks me how much I love her cute little freckles.

    One one hand I'd like to think this is just about a change? She noticed something that wasn't there and it bugged your daughter, she wanted it back to "normal". Augh, this girl stuff is hard.

    My 5 year old asked me for a "shaver" for her hairy legs just the other day. Really?!? Never do I remember talking about shaving, where does this come from?

    We have been blessed beyond belief this this task of raising girls. God will give you the words, and has already!

    God Bless!

  21. Oh, that is so sad. I hope the M&Ms helped! And I feel the same with with 2 little girls...and worst that are the same age. I feel like they are always going to think the other is better at this or that, is taller, has longer hair, bluer eyes, the list goes on.

    Hugs to you!

  22. Oh Mel! This post just gives me chills. I had tears in my eyes when I read it. What a battle. I just can't even imagine what you were thinking! You did the right thing though!

  23. Oh Mel, my heart aches with you. Ryan and I read your post together too. I teared up and he frowned as in, "aw, that's so sad". I wish we could protect our girls from everything in this world. Especially Satan's lies! I read an amazing book that helped me feel like I was taking the first step in being able to model what I want my girls to know and believe in regards to being fully secure in Jesus: Beth Moore's "So Long Insecurity". I feel like I'm on a path of new freedom!

  24. I am glad I read the comments on your posts, or else I would think that I was the only weirdo who cried.

    Fiona cried the other day because she wanted more freckles, like her mom and aunt Kara.

  25. omg totally crying! ugh... i HATE this. i will pray for you since we are all on the same journey!



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