I have wrinkles.
Small, amazing wrinkles.
I confess that my first though was something along the lines of how horrible it was that at my age (24) I had to "worry" about wrinkles. That thought faded quickly as I took another look at the photo.
I remember the moment this photo was taken. It was Thanksgiving 2013 and we had driven 4 hours that morning to spend the day with my dad, sister and their families. Natalie was so happy to see everyone that the whole first hour she was unable to control her laughter and smiles. I remember looking at her right before I scooped her up, thinking 'I have the best life'.
My daughter didn't laugh until after she was 9 months old. That sound was not only the most amazing thing I had ever heard, but was a comfort and reassurance to me that my child was happy and secure.
Every time I hear her laugh I am grateful. I am overwhelmed with love and joy. I am swept away by that same peaceful reassurance I felt the first time I heard that little giggle.
My husband will tell you that I am a "Negative Nancy". I prefer to say that I am a realist. His is much more accurate...
At only 24 years old I have smiled and laughed enough to have a permanent reminder on my face.
I do occasionally get pity from others who think it is difficult to care for or love my child. This has always gotten under my skin and now, I have some proof of how lovely she has made my world. These wrinkles are my face's way of saying "good morning! I know your going to smile many times today and Iv got that covered. I have even made it easy for you with this little crease here so you wont have to strain so much to do that weird squinting thing you like to do when you laugh. No need to thank me, just keep being awesome."
I pray that these tiny marks grow larger and deeper. I pray that the joy I have in the Lord and his blessings to me are evident when I smile and laugh. I thank God that at my age I have a reason to have wrinkles.