Julie’s Jabbers: Sure You’re Cute Now, But Just Wait

Something incredible happened to me & my kids the other day. NBC was taping an episode of “Salvation” near our house and we went to watch. The producers saw my girls and brought us over to watch Ashley Judd up close. They must have been fathers themselves because they were so sweet to my girls. Even put the headphones on them, so they could hear Ashley say her lines. It was truly an awesome experience but as we left my oldest said, “You know that only happened because you had cute kids with you.”

I know she’s right but how do you respond to THAT? I’d like to say, “C’mon kid, you’re not THAT great,” but the honest truth is they ARE cute kids. It doesn’t matter though because CUTE only lasts for so long. I know this from experience because I WAS a cute kid.

I had a pretty good run with it too. I remember prancing around in my little-kid bathing-suit, listening to parents RAVE about my eyelashes & curls. I was even able to pull off the glasses I had to start wearing in 1st grade, but something AWFUL happened a year later.

I ran into the kitchen for breakfast one morning, wearing my favorite giant t-shirt when my Dad said, “Good God kid, go put on some CLOTHES!”

I had inherited that shirt from my older sister & I loved the way it hung off me like a tent. Well, that was no longer the case because it barely covered my tummy. It never occurred to me THAT might be offensive because I’d always been so darn cute. I was also packing on the pounds. My older sister had just learned the word “cleavage” and was thrilled to tell me my BELLY had a cleavage.

I thought that everyone had me confused with some other not-cute kid but then I saw photos from my ballet recital. I thought I looked like a fairy floating across the stage but in the photos, I saw a sparkly sausage packed into a blue tutu. The kids at school hammered the point home by nicknaming me “The Frog.” That should’ve been an outrage but my first thought was, “Oh yeah, I see it.”

I know that sounds terrible but we were ALL going through horrible awkward phases. Most of the kids in my class had been given mean nicknames by then because frankly we all looked like crap. It was simply magnified for those of us who’d spent years being adored for our cuteness.

I’ll keep this in mind next time my kids brag about being cute. Sure, it’s all fun NOW but one day you’re going to turn the corner & trip HARD over that adolescent ugly-stick. Take it from me, your MOM who went through the exact same thing. I’ll be there to hold your hand through those difficult times, but forgive me for the occasional smug smile. Better yet, let’s just blame it on “The Frog.”


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