I am twenty-seven years old, and I have a wrinkle. Not a fine line. Not "if I squint," or "if I laugh." I have an all-the-time, never-goes-away wrinkle.
He is on my forehead, centered above my right eyebrow. (I'd take a picture for you, but my eyebrows are looking a little swarthy these days because I have 2.5 kids and tweezing them is less important than pouring my morning whiskey. KIDDING! I prefer vodka. KIDDING AGAIN! I don't drink. But the swarthy eyebrows are very, very real.)
After instituting a rigorous, emergency skin care regimen for almost a year now (my former skin care regimen consisted of me licking my fingers and rubbing them under my eyes to remove old mascara), the wrinkle has not budged. He is here to stay. We are one. At least now I'm moisturizing.
The thing is, I don't mind my wrinkle. I'm actually kind of fond of his placement. I know that this particular wrinkle in this particular location is the result of years of emoting. Years of using my whole face to express surprise (! ) joy(!) and concern. I like to think that my wrinkle means that I've really engaged people, listened to them and felt with them, and if you're going to get a wrinkle, I think that's the way to do it.
I read a study a while back that concluded that women who have had Botox injections cannot hold the attention of babies as well as women who haven't. At first the baby is all interested, you know, because of the high-pitched baby voice and the giggling and tickling, but the babies soon start looking around for something more stimulating. Where as women who can really move their eyebrows to show surprise (peek-a-boo) and joy keep the babies' attention much longer.
I don't know where I read this or how true it is, but I think it makes good sense - and it makes me proud of my wrinkle. Like I earned it with kindness and love, and I can prove it because, see? Babies love me.
Don't get me wrong, he still gets a little extra dab of anti-aging-retinol-repair-moisturizing-idealist-corrector-make-your-skin-look-19-again-serum in the mornings, but I don't resent him.
I thought about my wrinkle this morning as I was heading out the door to read for Madeline's preschool class. And this is what I told him,
"Okay, forehead wrinkle. There is going to be a lot of emoting and eye-brow lifting going on this morning. I'm really sorry about it, but I'm going to be in a classroom full of 4-year-olds and the children need me, so you're just going to have to deal."
The kids, me, and my wrinkle had a ball.