There is moaning and startled snoring erupting from my mom’s room. An office converted to a bedroom with an artful cutout high in the vaulted ceiling.
Poor design. Who wants an office that allows all the noise in?
The irregular cadence keeps me on edge. I cross my fingers, hoping for a longer respite.
Gingerly placing my breakfast dishes in the sink. Every moment takes twice as long. As I load the car to drive to work, I realize adulting sucks.
At the red light, I look down at my hands. They look old, ridged, deep wrinkles like an ancient artist’s canvas stretched tight and cracking with age. Not one spot isn’t covered in wrinkles.
My face has weathered time well, but my hands tell my life story. My nails are short, stubby, and uneven, peeling from my winter attempt to maintain fake ones.
That always ends disastrously. Cracked and broken by the third day.
My ex used to tell me how disgusting my nails were . . . after a long day of expo marker, pencil smudges, glue or dirt or paint. Classroom grit and grime plastered to the nail-beds.
My hands tell my story.
– A million and one dishes washed
– Medicine bottles pried open for a feverish kid at 2:21 a.m.
– Meals prepped to the tune of, “ugh. Why veggies? Nope. Not eating that!” – Washing jerseys and uniforms, finding those elusive socks under the bed – Rubbing backs to settle tears
– Lifting babies to toss into the air, giggling peels of laughter sounding out into the sky
– Hands that held my mother’s when she’s prepped for surgery and empty of courage
– Hands that tell the story of the woman I have become and the man I found to journey with me
– Hands that write my stories because I have to tell them I realize that my flaws define me. They tell my story. They are my honor. Most days, I cannot acknowledge this, but today, I can.
And that’s my advice to you . . . when it’s possible . . . in those brief glimpses when you can . . . love your flaws. As you age, remember the stories of those wrinkled hands.