‘Fro Me to You: The Hidden Years

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LinkI don’t have a scanner, so I’m not usually able to post old pictures. But my sister posted this picture on Facebook the other night. She’s the one in the pink jacket. The cute one. I am the strange-looking one behind her.

This post is for WeareTHATfamily’s bloggy carnival for pictures that would never make it in a scrapbook, but still tell a story.

I don’t have a clue who took this picture or why they took it. It is in the church library of the church we grew up in, Webber, in Richmond, VA.


I use the term library loosely. It was a small, wood-paneled room with a desk and three walls of books. I spent a whole summer as part of a library organization team, where we tried to revamp the library so people might want to use it. The team consisted of one older person, me, and a boy who I was “in love” with that summer (and for, oh, four or five years. Can we not talk about that?).

The immediate feeling I get from this picture is that it was taken in the height of my awkward years. Maybe where I was just starting to feel self-conscious. I’ve struggled with my weight from the time I was in 4th grade. This was probably about 5th grade as best as I can tell. And I was just starting to realize that it was an issue, something that needed to be dealt with…something that might make me cave in to myself and become ferociously shy throughout middle and high school.

Ashley, my sister, looks so free and childlike. I look hidden. This picture just reminds me of the years of yearbook photos I hate; of the vacation videos where I was wearing elastic-waist jeans at 11; of having to wear my mother’s purple dress to GA graduation in 6th grade.

Wow, I really didn’t realize where this was going when I started writing.

I hope my daughter will never feel like I felt, and sometimes still feel like. I want to encourage her to be healthy, always tell her she is beautiful, and help her have more self-confidence than I could ever muster. I want her to be Ashley in that picture.

9 thoughts on “‘Fro Me to You: The Hidden Years

  1. At least you were discreet – I didn’t realize I was having an awkward stage, and the pictures are just terrible, LOL!!

    Besides, I think you look very cute in that photo.

  2. it broke my heart when my son was aware he was in his awkward stage and refused to go shirtless. As we live in FL and swim daily………it was a LONG year!!

    Thankfully he grew about 6 inches and no longer feels the need to hide his body…..just his braces!

  3. UGH – the awkward years. My kids are embarking upon them right now. The looks aren’t the bad part for us, it’s the attitudes – lol!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Are you kidding me? You were PRECIOUS! But I can relate. My younger sister had blond, almost white, curly hair and blue eyes. I was always hearing how “cute” she was. My brown hair and green eyes didn’t draw the compliments.

  5. AH! I never thought posting that picture would draw up so many bad feelings for you…I thought it was adorable, and I do NOT consider this your awkward years. Because you did not have glasses yet so you probably weren’t in 4th grade. 🙁 I LOVE this picture, and I think you are adorable, then now and FOREVER. Even your awkward years. You have no idea how much I ALWAYS wanted to be you! I love you, big sis.

  6. I think you look cute in the picture. I also understand. I never felt good about my looks. My sister was (still is) the pretty one. I was the smart one.

  7. I agree that you look cute and not awkward. I went through a definite awkward stage, followed by “the ducking suddenly turns into a swan and doesn’t know how to act like a swan” phase. I survived. But, just as I became engaged, my dad found a whole box of slides from my growing up days. Now, of course, in his eyes, I was always cute. So, he proceeds to have a showing, while my fiance was present, of all of the old slides — through every stage of my life from babyhood to the age I was then, sparing none of my very awkward looking photos. And, my dear hubby married me anyway.

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