I thought about my young son springing in on me after my shower last night, his Spiderman slippers loud against the white tiled floor. A towel turban style covered my head, not a thread of hair showing, my face, fully exposed. “What are those?” my son had said pointing at my forehead. “What were what?” but I knew what he was referring to. “Pleats. Creases. Crows feet!” the words shot from my mouth like Nerf darts. Stunned, he shuffled off to bed.
My husband slept soundly. I put my laptop away, and told myself my nooks and crannies had come from marrying twice, raising a handful of children, attending five sporting events back to back on any given Saturday. I imagined my two sons and three daughters sleeping in their beds, their mouths in wide o’s dreaming.
Looking into the full-length mirror next to my bed, I smoothed my fingertip over the tea-colored stains on my cheek, pigmentations that had shown up after the birth of my first daughter, now 13. “Sophia,” I said, naming that spot for her. I found more spots. “Luke, Olivia, Jamie, Johnny,” I said going in descending age order. I was no longer making an effort to erase, but to remember. Would I trade one memory for the smoothing of one wrinkle?
I decided, as the house grew later in the house that I loved, that it might be time to recast my vote for myself, lines and all. Maybe I could prolong the aging process with peels and peptides, but I might do better if I obsess less, and sleep more, the way my husband slept now, his hair spun silver, his lines of distinction, not wrinkles, gathered at the corners of his eyes.