In Praise Of Wrinkles


"Are you ok, Mom?"

My daughter was asking me this question, seemingly out of the blue.  I was fine and said so.

"OK - it's just that your face looks upset.  You have all of these wrinkles on your forehead, and you look like something's wrong," she replied.

Hmmm. I suppose something was, in truth, wrong. I had a piece of popcorn stuck between my teeth which I wasn't able to un-stick.

This wasn't the first time my daughter had used my face as a gauge for my moods.  She routinely calls out my forehead lines and asks me if I'm sad, frustrated, or surprised.  She reads me less on the shape of my mouth, which is almost always open, but on the top third of my head.

Yikes.  I found this reality a little disconcerting.

My sunscreenless days in So Cal, the years of teaching swimming and driving convertibles left a mark (or hundreds of them). While I realize my years are "nested" all over my face, I wasn't expecting my 10-year-old to translate them into my attitude.

I spent a couple of days kicking around the implications of my "forehead as a road map" chat.   What's a girl to do?   I'm kind of a scaredy-cat when it comes to Botox.  I'm too cheap for expensive facial treatments, and I don't buy any of the claims of "age-reversing" wrinkle creams.   Finally, I decided, I couldn't scrape together the energy to care.

I am friends with my wrinkled forehead.

I must accept that my face reveals more secrets than I imagine.  It clearly divulges when I'm tired, impatient, or under-hydrated (once again my "I don't like water" thing surfaces!).  But it also communicates surprise, amusement, and empathy.

Of course, it also discloses my age and that, my friends, is OK.  After all,  I've enjoyed living these years...