Buddy (age 6) is ever inquisitive. I try my best to answer every inquiry as factually as possible, so when he asked, “Mom, why do old people get wrinkles?” I went on about skin elasticity and muscle tone, and some other stuff that sounded about right (with a disclaimer that I was not super knowledgeable in that area and if he’d like more detailed information, I would help him look it up when we got home.) He said that my explanation made sense.
The conversation among the three kids turned to the various adults that they know and how many wrinkles each person had. There was intense discussion about each person’s age and if it seemed to relate to the amount of wrinkles they can see… It didn’t. I explained that lifestyle, diet and family history can have an impact on how your skin looks as you get older.
This led to an analysis among the children about the health of various relatives (sorry, family!): grandma doesn’t make good food choices, auntie gets lots of exercise, and so on.
This, in turn, led to an analysis of my own wrinkles. Bear tells me to smile, and I do. He points to the lines around my mouth. Laugh lines, I tell him, because you bring me so much happiness. Then, he zeroed in on the “little wrinkles by your eyes when you squint.”
They’re called “crow’s feet”, Bear. They mean that mommy has lots of life experience.
Bear, without hesitation, laughs, “Life ‘sperience means old!”