Tuesday, November 9, 2010

About Face

I sat for a long time this morning, considering the face in the mirror, surveying the damage like a landlord deciding whether or not to return the security deposit. When did all these spots get here? Brown and red, small and not so small. And lines. Long ones between the brows from years of reading with expression, small ones framing the lips from hours of shushing noisy children. Above the face, errant grays, below it, gathering jowls. I see my mother. Oh Sweet Jesus, right there, on the left cheek, my Grandmother.

Happy birthday?

Some people are gracious about aging, mature, grown up. They see their wrinkles as the reward of years of laughter and love. Their spots and splotches are badges of honor from time well spent.

I'm not one of those people. I just see middle-age. And I liked youth better.

I am 46 today. I can almost feel myself cresting the peak, beginning the steady descent. Let's just hope Frank Sinatra was right—the best is yet to come.

As I scrutinize this tired face, my son's voice intrudes on my self-pity. He is laughing and chattering like only children do. Beyond him, the familiar sounds of my husband, fixing lunches and pouring egg nog into my coffee, just the way I like it.

I'd trade this old face for a young one in a second. But not if it meant returning to a life before them. I may even take a new wrinkle or two, if that's what it took to keep them.

Happy birthday indeed.


bloorondo said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I like this one.

Also, When my friends see you on my facebook they ask who the pretty lady is. So, I think you're okay.

I hope it was a nice birthday

Alecia said...

off to get some tissues-- happy birthday susan

soozietoone said...

Happy birthday, love! I'm going to be inspecting you for jowls next time I see you. Some days I have the same feelings: I see only the old, tired face. Most days I'm okay with it, though, and think I'm not bad for an old trout a few years shy of 60. I think it's harder for really pretty people to age -- the rest of us know we weren't all that good to begin with. You've still got it. And brains and much wit to go along with it. Look more closely in the mirror next time.....