My post today was supposed to be a fun picture filled recap from our last minute trip to the mountains. Kind of like a bigger, brighter version of my instagram complete with a recipe or two.
But as I sat down last night to go over the few pictures we captured with my good camera something changed. As I loaded them onto the computer I noticed that Matthew snapped the most beautiful picture of me with Tagg. We're caught in a moment that any momma and son could be in 100 times throughout the day with no one but themselves noticing. We'd been in the car for four hours. And ten hours just the day before. I have on an old shirt and no make-up. I had just taken him out of his car seat. He's smiling as I hold him close and twirl him around and I'm beaming.
True mother's love.
And you want to know what my first reaction was?
I look old.
The lines around my eyes took my breath away. I had no idea they were there. They've crept in and settled deep into my face without asking or announcing their arrival.
I've been having a tough time with that lately. For the first time in my life, I'm feeling a bit out of control of my body. I used to highlight the crap out of my hair and every four weeks, like clockwork, the dark roots came back. It was nothing more than an annoying reminder that it was time to drop another $80. Now, those roots are grey. And it feels like there are more of them than dark ones coming in. And they're coming faster than I can keep up with. Reminding me with every strand that time is fading along with my hair color.
I'm not sharing this so that you can all chime in with how great I look. Or how those wrinkles are formed by hours spent feeding and rocking babies in the night. And how that laugh line around my mouth is just that. A product of a great big lifetime of smiles. I get it, I'm 31. I'm not supposed to look 22. I know that in my head. I just didn't know it with my eyes. I also know that one day I'll look back on this picture and think, damn you were so young once.
But does all this understanding and knowing stop me from wanting to print out the edited version of this photo? No. Did it stop me from adding it to the top of a post about our trip to the mountains today? No. I want to show only the edited version with every piece of me. But I'm not going to do that. Because one day my daughter will be 31. She'll look at this picture on our bookshelf and examine her own skin against mine. And I never want her to fear her own face one day. I'm trying to be brave about aging so that I can be brave for her. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't having a tough time with that lately.
The edited version that I spent thirty minutes working on last night. Erasing wrinkles and lessening the bags under my eyes. The way I thought I looked. The way I might look again after a few weeks of sleeping all night and not traveling. Maybe with a good eye cream. Maybe not.