Ah Skin, Ah Youth

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There’s something sad about a mother who is jealous of her own children.  That’s not me.  If my children succeed where I have failed, I celebrate.

The girls got better report cards than I did—Happy Mother Check Mark.

The girls made varsity sports and I didn’t—Happy Mother Check Mark.

The girls went to their Senior Prom and poor old me did not—Happy Mother Check Mark.

The girls can read maps, are techno whizzes, and know how to use eyeliner—Happy Mother Check Marks.  I could go on and on.  Check. Check. Check.

But the other day, I was looking at Kath’s complexion.  She swears she is getting wrinkles around her eyes, but it would take a mega magnifying glass to find them.  Her skin is beautiful.  In fact, hers might be the skin older women praised me for forty years ago.

Bad Mother Alert!  Jealousy reared its nasty head and flashed its green eyes.  Jealousy tried to leap into her body and make that skin mine. But I stopped it in its slimy tracks.  Motherly pride prevailed.

It’s my turn to do the admiring of young skin.  This concept has taken a while to settle in, and I’ve had to squash my jealousy on a few more occasions.  Now every time I see skin worth trading an entire fall wardrobe for, I give that young lady a Happy Mother Check Mark, no matter whose child she is.  (And if I’m feeling extra motherly, I remind her how much younger I might look now if I had not let myself get suntans in my early years—It’s true; we used baby oil!)  Aging with grace includes embracing and championing people in all stages of life, especially the young–beautiful skin and all.

The portrait is Kath and Laura’s grandma, my mom, Nancy Wenger Kiehne, as a student at Duke University in 1944.  It was painted by one of her boyfriends.  She had lots of them.  Ah youth.

21 responses »

  1. I think your Mom is as beautiful today as she was in 1944. Every age has it’s own beauty. Congrats on the new blog. I’ve always loved your clever writing.

  2. I always had oily skin until menopause. Now for the first time I have to use moisturizer. However I really should have been using it way before menopause. When you have that nice smooth youthful skin, you don’t think much about taking care of it like you should. Then before you know it, your skin is dry and wrinkley. So we need to encourage our children to take care of their skin early on. As far as wrinkles go, most of us don’t like them, but I think they show a life well lived–especially those laugh lines.

  3. love gail’s comment…..those lines show a life of laughter. perfection is over-rated anyway! but as far as menopause goes…i have had so many skin issues of late. have spent a lot of hours looking for new moisturizers and skin cleansers. now that i have found what works i can move forward and embrace yet another transition. i guess we wouldn’t want a stagnant life!!!

  4. A few weeks ago, a Sephora lady told me I had pretty skin. I looked at my friend, who had brought me in for a makeover, and wondered (but not out loud), ‘Are they required to find ONE thing to compliment?’ Later on, after the makeover, I asked my friend that question and she said, thoughtfully, “Your skin is nice. But when we were little [we've known each other since the sixth grade], what I envied was your nose.” Noses? Time for a nose blog, Barb – not wimpy noses, like mine, but noses of character, like my friend’s.

  5. What a terrific blog, Barbara! I love your attitude and your style! It’s true, isn’t it, that aging gives us room to admire without competing. Not a bad thing…and thanks for sharing!

    • Did you put aluminum foil on record covers and use them as reflectors? We sure had fun getting tans in the olden days. I sure have age spots as a result and also some pre-skin cancer stuff.

      Thanks for the kind words on my writing!

  6. you should take the bowl tampons and put them on the counter top of some random public womens bathroom. What a nice suprise for women who still have those nasty periods:)

  7. Kath is such a breath of fresh air day in and day out ~ Many thanks to her for making your introduction today. I’ve seen pix of you here and there on her blog but what a delight to really get acquainted with you here.

    I love your flair and look forward to following along…

    Blessings – Debbie

    • You are so kind. Thank yo,u and thanks for the good words on Katherine Anne. Ye,s do follow and tell your friends!

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