Mom, Your Wrinkles Matter, They Tell Your Story

I am always the one behind the camera. You know what I mean. Making sure all of
those moments since I gave birth to my sons are being recorded for posterity. 
 It also gives me an excuse to hide behind the lens.
I do not wear make up most days, my hair is going gray, and I am still carrying around
 weight that I have been meaning to lose for years now.  Why on earth would I
want that documented in photograph! To be quite honest, I do not look in the mirror much,
 it is covered in toothpaste anyway.

 A few weeks ago I began searching for a photo I had taken a few years back.
 As I searched, I realized that in documenting my children's lives for the past eleven years, 
I was not in it.

I realized that when my children look back at all our memories, they won't see me.

Is selfish pride of my appearance robbing my children of memories of their mother?
What will they remember of me?

This last year I have made a conscious effort to play with them more, on the floor, in the water,
and get dirty, yet there is no photographic documentation of that, on purpose.

I planned a trip to pick blueberries together a few days after my revelation. I decided
to buck up and prepare to have my photograph taken, out in a hot, buggy blueberry field.

 I of course got dolled up for the blueberry bushes, I knew they would appreciate it.
I actually put on a shirt that did not have a stain on it and left my hair down.
 It is usually piled on top of my head, resembling a bird's nest.
 I was determined to have a picture taken with each boy in the field.
They would each have to take a turn since it was the three of us.
They love the opportunity to take a photograph.
I let them take some photos of whatever they wanted and it was interesting
the things they choose to take pictures of that day.
 My youngest, 8, chose to spend his camera time taking pictures of his mother, interesting.
I can only show you this one, all the others are even more unflattering. Really.

The thing is, my sons think I am beautiful, just as I am.  You know, our children look at us with
wonder in their eyes. We, moms, are the best thing since lollipops to them, yet we don't realize it.

Maybe we should consider the profound effect we will have on their own self esteem
and confidence from watching how we handle ours.

That evening I was transferring the photos of our day onto the computer and when I
saw the ones of me with the boys, I gasped! Do I really look like that?
Do I have that many wrinkles on my face?
Where did that line come from on my forehead?
What is happening to my hair?
 It seems to be thinning instead of my thighs!

I had to choke back tears.

In my mind,
I am still that twenty something, just starting out, in the photograph
 with my husband that I pass each day in our hallway.

 I contemplated deleting the photos, but then Cowboy walked in.

 "Look Mommy! You are so beautiful, I love that picture!"  

"I look terrible, do I really have all those wrinkles around my eyes, and I look so tired."
Cowboy looked at me and said
 "But isn't that your story, you told me that wrinkles tell a story, that is why they matter."

How can so much wisdom be stored up in such a cute little guy. Pouring it out on his mother.
God uses our children to teach us lessons, time and again.

He is right. Those wrinkles tell my story, our story of:

-My wedding day
-The sorrow of losing loved ones
-The sadness of infertility
-The elation of our first born son
-The shear exhaustion of sleepless nights
-The wonder of watching our children grow
-The fear of a diagnosis
-The loneliness of motherhood
-The laughter of living with children
-The joy of being so thankful for each day

All the things that build a life. 

At 43, God willing, I have a lot more living and learning to do. Hopefully with a few more
photographs to document those times. I pray that looking back with my sons and our life
together, I won't see the gray, the pudge and the wrinkles,
 but the life we were blessed to live.

So, moms, embrace your wrinkles, they tell your story.
 I would love to hear your story, and see your wrinkles too.
Share with us your story that leaves its mark on your beautiful face!

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  1. What great insight! It's easy to feel inadequate to be in the pictures, especially next to our fresh faced young children. It seems every fault is magnified sometimes. You're right though that they think we're beautiful. Someday your son will look back on the picture above and just see both of your happy smiles and a special memory! Thanks for linking up to Motivational Monday!

    1. Thank you for a wonderful link up! I hope other moms can get in the picture with their kids too. Holly

  2. Holly, I read a fair amount of 'mommy' posts but yours teared me up! The poem was beautiful too! I am 41 and starting to get some gray hairs and more wrinkles too. But ya know what, now I will know what your post has shared, wrinkles tell a story. When i think of why I may have those wrinkles I will smile because every last one of them will have been worth it! Thanks for sharing this post with others!

    1. Susen, Wow, thank you! You are beautiful! Enjoy your wrinkles, if more women did they would be happier with themselves. Realizing how our lives shape our face, literally brings new meaning to what we see in the mirror. It is just hard to swallow sometimes! Thank you, Holly

  3. I absolutely LOVE this post. No woman wants to see her hair start turning gray or those lines appearing on their face, but I've always contended that I earned every gray hair. I'm not 20 anymore but I'm not ashamed of my age, only with age comes the wisdom that experience brings. The 20-somethings have the figure, but those in my age group (and beyond) have the wisdom of their years and I'm pretty proud of that. Thanks for sharing this post (visiting from the HomeAcre Hop)

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~

    1. I am with you Taylor-Made Ranch! I am learning that wisdom is beauty and we all should embrace it! Thank you for sharing with women that living our lives brings on the grace of age. A life lived! I appreciate your visit! Holly

  4. This brought tears to my eyes. I, too, am the one behind the camera and not in the pictures. Thank you for the reminder that my children would rather I LIVE life with them instead of just documenting theirs.

    1. Brandi, thank you for taking it in and standing with me! I challenge you to get in front of the camera! Show us your beautiful face, your children will love it too! Holly

  5. Yes, this is so incredibly true. It's way too easy for us moms to hide behind the camera. My mom always did that and we have hardly any pictures of her when we were young (and so was she.) I also started doing the same thing when my boys were little... and even now I have to force myself to hand the camera to my husband or a son so that they can take a picture of me, too. We might think we look awful now... but imagine how good we will look to ourselves when we're in our 70s and 80s... Be brave, moms. Get in front of the camera!

    1. Michelle, Thank you for your thoughts and bravery! I am glad you are getting in front of the camera with your boys! It is just too easy for us to compare ourselves with the images of this world and forget we have our own little community who is watching!! Holly

  6. I love this so much I pinned it to the Fridays Unfolded links board and I'll be repinning to my Beauty board! Such a great reminder that we are important and lovely in the eyes of our loved ones and that each and every wrinkle, stretch mark and gray hair tell a story in themselves. Thanks for sharing!


    1. Alison, Thank your for your support through commenting and pinning! You are always beautiful with your hair! Long or short! it becomes you! Just beautiful! Thanks for being a role model for the moms! Holly

  7. You have encompassed what I feel right now. I have photos of my 2 boys and me. Now that they are grown and I am a grandmother (GiGi) I shun the camera. Like you I have gained weight, the hair is not as it once was and the wrinkles are beginning to set in. Unlike you I never realized how selfish I was being. My grandson has no pictures of him and his GiGi. That has to change. Thank you for your honesty. I needed to read this!
    Visiting from SITS
    Barbara @

    1. Barbara, You are so beautiful! Get in those pictures gigi, your grandson deserves it and so do you! It is hard to realize that we are being selfish. I think that is what I was doing, "who wants a picture of me?", my kids do. Thanks for visiting and let us know when you get in front of the camera! Holly

  8. Oh, I am the same way - always taking the photos but never in them! I keep saying that I'll take more of me and the kids together, but haven't. Such a great reminder!

  9. This is so true! Now that our children are all grown and gone, I'm glad I'm in some of the pictures. Not as many as I should be, but there are some. Thank you for sharing this on the HomeAcre Hop; I've featured your post today!
    Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead





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