Okay, I'll accept it: pregnancy and childbirth changes a woman.
I always promised myself I'd never be one of those moms; you know, the puffy-haired blonde ones with dark brown roots three inches long and bad haircuts, wearing mom jeans complete with the mommy-pooch of the stomach, looking harried and harassed with dark under-eye circles and a hoarse voice.
I told myself this, but I am realizing that these (we?) women venture out in public looking so for a reason. It has come to my attention that pregnancy/motherhood has indeed taken its toll on my physique and appearance, and what's more, it is startlingly obvious to others. I know this namely because of the interactions happening during times when it is required that I present my driver's license for identification purposes.
Here is my driver's license. (Yes, I added a gratuitous inch to my height when I was 16 and filling out the paperwork.) I look tan and happy because I've just returned from my Jamaican honeymoon. I've been told it's a good picture. So, gathering what I know about this picture (it's good), I can venture to say that I no longer look like this (good) because people literally do not believe that it is me.
When I was coming home from Helen's wedding in October, the man at the airline gate looked at my picture, then at my face, then at my picture (rinse, lather, repeat) for an uncomfortably long time before asking me for additional identification. I promised him that it was me, but he didn't seem convinced. I became a little panicky: it seemed like this could rapidly become a situation like one out of a 'stolen identity' movie and in those moments I saw myself battling police, FBI agents, and Russian spies, "I AM Christie Andrews!!"
Granted, I did look like this:
Eventually, he believed me and I began what would be a much-delayed trip back to Texas. Since that day, similar situations have occurred. Today, in Walmart, I was trying to buy a bottle of wine in the self-checkout line when the lady came to check my I.D. The same dance ensued: she glanced at my photo, took a long, hard look at me, and then, frowning slightly, looked back at my picture. Repeat, repeat, repeat. What?!
I mean, alright, I'm a little bit pale. Night after night of interrupted sleep hasn't done wonders for my skin and I've got a few pounds to lose... and a trip to the hairdresser could be in order, but I AM Christie Andrews!! Of course, it may have been harder to tell because I wasn't exactly smiling at the law-abiding WalMart employee.
This is probably a more accurate depiction. Maybe in some small way I should take it as a compliment? Maybe parenthood has, in actuality, made me look like a 20 year old, still young and desperate enough to use a fake ID in WalMart to procure a three dollar bottle of merlot... In any case, I'm willing to keep this new identity, occupational hazards notwithstanding.
In other news, Christmastime is in full swing in the Andrews home. In between chores today I'm wrapping gifts (not one of my talents, but I enjoy it all the same. I like to think my juvenile skills inject some childlike wonder back into the holidays) and watching Love Actually on repeat. And hanging Knox's new stocking!
Turns out it's not edible.
I haven't forgotten about my practice of simplicity - through some struggles with frustration, impatience, and self-doubt (see paragraphs on mommy jeans above) I'm learning to depend on God's daily provision. Don't pray to be changed without expecting the opportunities.
Simplicity has so much to do with joy - the kind that isn't situational. A focus on this discipline fit so well within the month of giving thanks, and it was additionally enriched by the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, a present from my mother-in-law. Simplicity and thanksgiving walk hand-in-hand: I'd highly recommend this book, even if you believe you don't have a single speck of beauty in your life. Or maybe especially then.
Right now I'm thankful for the 16 pound baby sleeping on my left arm and in my lap, though he's making it very difficult to type. 'Til next time...