Mom, Your Wrinkles Matter, They Tell Your Story

By Holly Giles | Motherhood

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 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 photographs! 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.

 When my children look back at all our memories, they won’t see me.Is selfish pride in 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. It was interesting
the one thing they choose to take pictures of the most,
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 firstborn son
-The sheer 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!


About the Author

Holly Giles is a wife, mother, and storyteller. As an author and Florida Master Naturalist, she writes about heritage homemaking skills, motherhood, and why Florida offers the best hidden natural gems to explore as a family.

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