Every once in awhile we get a glimpse of ourselves that changes something, that calls up emotions from deep within and forces us to look ourselves straight in the face, unflinchingly, authentically and unapologetically. A glimpse that actually moves us from one state of being to the next.
And it scares us to death.
We utter a few colorful words and colorful excuses to fog up the mirror a bit, pump ourselves up with a positive pep talk, and attempt to walk away with our pride still in tact.
But, when your 3 year old is still following you with your camera set on burst mode, it’s nearly impossible to walk away from the reality she is seeing not just through that lens, but each moment she looks at me.
I loaded these pictures in my computer a few days ago. I cried. Not because I’m aging prematurely, decorated with day old mascara smudges and wearing a shirt I bought in the Junior’s section at JC Penney. And not because my once-blonde-hair has turned a dull shade of taupe and hurricane force winds were whipping it around uncontrollably. And not because my ‘group’ camping trip turned solo due to SoCal traffic and non-comital friends.
No. None of that.
It was frame after frame after frame of the same thing. The glimpse of myself on the other side of the camera. It was the fact that this is the face that greets my children. A face filled with exhaustion and tension. An expression tormented with decisions, taut with seasons of holding back tears and laughter. It’s filled with pseudo enthusiasm and muted annoyance. Aloof at best.
And it scares me to death. And I don’t want to move on knowing that is what they see.
I want to move on knowing that this is.