- Callouses -– three on my left palm, rough from carrying the baby’s car seat all over creation.
- Scars –- c-section and more, marring a previously unblemished body.
- Bruises –- from rocking baby and carrying kids, car seats and bags galore every time I leave the house (book bag, diaper bag, bottle bag, work bag, purse, lunch, etc.).
- Fine wrinkles and occasional puffy eyes –- from waking in the night and early morning to care for two of the most precious little people on the planet; from working hard, from laughing, smiling, even a little worrying.
- Gray hairs -– only a few to date, thank God, but they indicate I’m aging, and with that, presumably, comes wisdom, but definitely experience and expanded bandwidth. I can do more, bear more, be more.
Would I go back to the glory days of my teens and twenties? Never. Not unless I could take what I know now, who I am now, back with me. For all the wonder and physical perfection of youth, there’s something missing when we are young –- naïve, immature, inexperienced, easily infatuated, occasionally arrogant, unbroken, untested, uncontrolled. With trials, with suffering, with children, with time, come a deeper joy, a sense of knowing, inner truth about who you are and confidence in the experiences you’ve had and what you’re capable of. As the days become weeks, months and years, true strength is found in constancy, who you are for the long haul.
“Love…is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken…love alters not with his brief hours and weeks but bears it out even to the edge of doom.” Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116
And although this body is in some ways showing wear, by Hollywood’s standards perhaps now less
beautiful, my soul and spirit are eternal, and through continual sacrifice, service and love, can become stronger and more magnificent every day.