November 20, 2013

The BROW Crease.

Kick, kick, kick.

Every time I lay supine the baby growing inside me would wake up. I rolled onto my side and put my hand where I imagined her feet to be. One more month and I would be holding this new little person in my arms.

First babies are game changers. There's a dawning realization that you must now care for another being completely. Eight months into my pregnancy, I looked in the mirror and I noticed something that wasn't there before.

It was...a line.

Just a tiny vertical line nestled between my eyebrows.

About 2 months after my first child was born, I suffered post-natal depression. This manifested as morbid intrusions, where I would imagine some disaster befalling us, like a bomb or a house fire, from which I'd have to save my baby. 

Those episodes were debilitating, they froze me in my tracks, kept me from sleeping, and eating...I was sick.  But my baby thrived in real life.

The line between my eyebrows deepened into a crease.

It took a few years but eventually I recovered from the post-natal depression. With each of my subsequent children, my brow crease became more visible. 

The midnight barfs, the public temper-tantrums, the watching them break-away and get on that yellow school bus without me; all this intensified the crease. 

I began to accept it as a part of my face. 

And now, at just over half a century of my life well lived, I gaze in wonder at these three opinionated and promising teenagers. 

The eldest, who once kicked me so relentlessly in utero, now blows me kisses as she leaves for University. 

The second child, who flung herself around the supermarket floor as a toddler, now dances around the kitchen singing as we cook dinner. 

The third and youngest, our son, who scared us half to death when he fell from the treehouse and fractured his skull in grade 1, now draws endless variations of Spiderman, his tongue poking out in concentration as he sketches.

Each day I pause to look at my reflection, and I know I'm aging. 

My silver streaks brushed up and away from my forehead, the lines and wrinkles sprout out of control.  

I will never again be unfettered and smooth; the bloom of youth has abandoned me. But it doesn't bother me to see it...

...because my brow crease tells everyone the story of how much I care.

And that makes me smile. My life is written all over my face.