Last night a friend and I were enjoying our monthly get together and before I dropped her off we got to talking about self-image. We were surprised to learn how we saw eachother. This led into a conversation about aging and pregnancy and the tolls they have taken on our young and once unblemished bodies. Uncomfortable with our fine lines and strech-marks, we have become a bit shy about our looks. Though we agreed that neither of our husbands seem to have noticed the wear and tear.
We then talked about our own mothers and how beautiful we think they are. What I try to hide on myself are the same things I love about how my Mother looks. Especially her hair. My Mom has amazing grey hair. It's that beautiful silver-white. Not dingy and yellow, but shiny and bright with the wisdom of years that it shows.
So I went home and took a long look at myself. The few strands of grey hair I have been pulling out for the last year have returned. There are fine lines around my eyes that, in my opinion, shouldn't be there yet, and I am covered in thick red lines where my skin made room for the mini-marriotts. Ugh. Ok look again.
"Grey hair is a crown of wisdom" I am learning to teach. I am learning to learn. Maybe I wont pull those three little strands out anymore. They do have that silver quality like my mothers. With some time I hope I can wear them as well as she does.
Those little lines around my eyes get deeper when I smile. If aging gracefully isn't really about staying young then maybe it is about letting those lines tell the story. If that is the case, then I welcome the ones that get deeper with laughter.
And those red rivers streching across my belly are not a disfigurement. They are the roadmap of my childrens journey into this life. They are the mark left by someone who has loved me well.
I hope the new found confidence I have aquired sticks for a little while. I am just wise enough not to fool myself into thinking that swimsuit shopping wont bother me now that I have made peace with my imperfections. But maybe, when my husband tells me how beautiful he thinks I am, I can start to believe him.