Rubbing the Crystal Ball

When I was 14 years old, I was tall, stringy-haired and a complete dork. My knees were so knobby that they'd rub against the fabric of my pants and start a fire while my ribs stuck out so far people constantly confused me for a starving African child.

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I started off with promise. No wonder I was delusional.

Not to mention the boob situation. Or lack thereof. Oh ya. I was hot. And I knew it. I used to spend hours daydreaming about what I'd look like when my body finally caught up with my highly mature brain (heh) and I liked to imagine I'd be 5'10", lithe, with breasts Pamela Anderson would covet.

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I totally look like that in my mind. Really.

Not to mention my face would finally grow into my nose, my chubby cheeks would slim out and my chin would firm up. The mental image of who I painted myself to look like was smoking hot. I was a vision. Every boy's wet dream and every girl's worst nightmare.

Sadly, my imagination was far more creative than my actual genes. But thankfully, my 'highly mature brain' caught up with my body and I grew to appreciate the body I was given and sentenced to life with.

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Okay, so I am not as classy as Charlize. And as my brother recently said, the only time I may resemble Ms. Theron is when she starred in Monster.

So I'm no supermodel, as my big brother likes to frequently point out (jackass.) But I can live with the face reflected back at me in the mirror.

But when I was gestating small demons humans in my belly, I couldn't help but wonder what my children would look like. Would my daughter reach that coveted height I had always hoped for, or would she stop short an inch and a half like I did?

Would she have big boobs like some of her chestically gifted relatives? Would she have my eyes? I didn't really care what she looked like, as long as she took after her father's side of the family. He has beautiful DNA. The women are stunning and the men are gorgeous.

I spent nine months envisioning the beauty I was baking; nine months patting myself on the back for having the good sense to hop on board Boo and borrow his baby batter.

Then I squeezed her out.

She was angry, bald and fat. She looked like a Ukrainian Bubba who discovered there was no more sausage in the fridge to snack on. I couldn't get over how different she looked in reality than in my head. I honestly didn't recognize her.

If you had put ten baby girls in front of me, I guarantee you I wouldn't have picked her. I'd have picked a prettier, smaller child. Not a squalling nine pound watermelon who was already half-grown.

Lucky for me, I didn't have that choice. And even luckier, she grew into herself. She is a stunning beauty, who looks exactly like all the beautiful people on her father's side and every day she grows more beautiful.

I can live with the fact she doesn't look like me. She got something better in return. My superior intellect and my smart mouth. Heh.

After Fric was born I realized just how out to lunch my imagination really was and when Frac clawed his way out of my cooter 396 days later I wasn't surprised by his size or his appearance.

I don't waste my time worrying about what my children will grow up looking like. I can already see their grown-up selves in their smiles, in their faces.

I pity the boys who become ensnared in my daughter's future beauty and I rue the day I have to play nice with the hordes of girls who start chasing after my son, who is an even prettier version of his father.

I also try to block out the mental image of what I'm going to look like in forty years. I don't want to envision my boobs touching my knees or how the ole meat curtains will flap against the ankle bones. (That might have been an over-share. Heh.)

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I used to wonder what Bug would look like when he reached manhood. When he died, I felt robbed. Robbed of his love, robbed of his time, robbed of his future. I was angry, no pissed, that I wouldn't be able to watch him morph into adulthood with the same lack of grace that his siblings are.

I couldn't predict when he was four what he would look like as a grown man and I felt cheated I would never find out. Would he be a big, hulking man or would he be slight and slim? Would he have wavy hair like his father or would it go poker straight with age?

I used to wonder what my boy would look like if he lived. I still wonder what he would have become, who he would have been, what he would have accomplished.

But thanks to a day spent surfing the net, I no longer wonder what he would look like as an adult. A gift was bestowed upon me. My oft pondered question was answered. The future Shale-man stared back at me.

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As a boy. Such a sweet boy.

and his future self

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As a man. Come on. You see the resemblance too, right?

I'm not a stupid woman. I know when I'm looking at a gift horse in the mouth.

I know I made beautiful babies, but hot damn.

I knew my imagination couldn't always be wrong.