"Mom, you haven’t changed at all, except now you're wrinkly,” my teenage daughter boldly claimed as she admiringly gazed at her young self in pictures. I'm well aware of my wrinkles, I had just never thought of myself as wrinkly. Instantly, I was transported back to the side of Julia, a dear friend from my childhood. She was an 89 year old woman, who if she stood on her tiptoes would not have been 4’6”. Now, Julia was wrinkly! She was so wrinkly that it looked like her skin was being magnified. Every line was exaggerated, and the skin was paper thin. But, oh, how I loved her wrinkles!
Wrinkles tell a story of a life well lived. While my daughter thinks I’m wrinkly, I don’t have half the wrinkles that Julia had and probably only half the stories to tell. I am working on developing more each day. I currently only have six forehead wrinkles, several tummy wrinkles, and lots of knee wrinkles.
When I was a relatively new mother, I was warned about the forehead wrinkles by my Aunt Elsie. She didn’t like wrinkles. She said I should be careful with the way I look at my kids when they do something wrong because it can cause wrinkles. She was right. The six wrinkles on my forehead represent the lessons taught to each of my children. Each line has been dutifully earned as I have lifted my eyebrows quietly but firmly reminding a child to be reverent during Sacrament meeting. The lines have been carved deeper while giving a testing child the tilted head, eyebrows raised, “this-is-your-last-chance” look.
The wrinkles on my forehead aren’t the only place my children have caused skin challenges. While I managed to escape six pregnancies without any stretch marks, I now have tummy wrinkles. No one warned me this could happen! In fact, it didn’t happen until the sixth bladder hopping child had made their way out and started to grow up. Then one day I noticed my once taut tummy had become creased, and yes, wrinkled.
More than half of my children are now bigger than me, but the once tiny children have led me to my knees many times where I have noticed that I also have many wrinkles! I have earned these wrinkles through prayer, both in pleading with the Lord for counsel and direction, and in offering many prayers of gratitude for all the blessings and tender mercies.
Where others may see old age, saggy skin, and loss of collagen, I see a life that has been well lived. While I may not be as wrinkly as Julia, I am thankful for my forehead, tummy, and knee wrinkles.