Scrolling through the photos on my iPhone, Tyler saw a candid picture of him and me at my 40th birthday party.Tyler at my birthday

He was shocked.

“Mom, look this picture. What happened? I look so grown up.”

Yes, my love.   So grown up.
The line of your jaw.
The crack in your voice.
The breadth of your shoulders.
The length of your torso.
It happened right before my eyes, likely while we were both sleeping.
That’s when the changes happen, I have heard.

But I didn’t say this out loud.  Because it weirds him out when I study him.

Instead I said, “Yep.  This is what you look like now.”

That has happened to me, too, when I have suddenly gotten a glimpse of myself and the ways I didn’t know I had changed.

Sometimes I’ll see a photo that shows new lines, curves, shapes, shadows.
Sometimes I’ll see something I have made –
a dish, an essay, a cake, a book, a friendship –
and discover how lovely it became while I wasn’t looking closely.

Sometimes I discover we are in a new life stage,
perhaps one I saw coming – like when the boys started school,
or one that took me by surprise – like when I realized they don’t call me Mommy anymore.

Sometimes I’ve discovered that the math has changed,
like when there were four places at my dinner table,
then only three for many years,
and now four again.

Sometimes you take a step back and you see yourself and your life all over again for the first time.

Oh, I guess I didn’t realize. This is what it looks like now.

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