She looks at me, backwards and forwards, wide-eyed and curious. Then she turns to her daddy...
"She's got red things on her cheeks."
Daddy shuffles, he's on the spot, a silent smile appeasing his daughter's enquiring mind.
He doesn't answer. We both know what she's talking about.
It cannot, must not be mentioned.
I wonder if he will explain when I'm not within earshot. I think I would.
I have Little A in a hip hold in my arms. She's observing me intently.
"Your cheeks are always red," she says.
And this spring it's bothered me.
The comments. The earnest observations.
I touch both cheeks and feel tiny raised bumps. I think of those tidal worm hills on waterlogged sand. I wish I could crush mine with a foot.
I can still see the ruddy patches in the dim yellow glow of the bedside light, and I frown at my reflection in the opposite mirror.
I have an archipelago of red islands on the east and the west hemispheres of my face.
Two constellations of deep pink stars.
Some are paired like ball room dancers, waltzing over my pores.
What caused it? Was it the end of breastfeeding? The Bobby Brown foundation? The Ponds cleanser? A limited diet? Lack of air and exercise? Not enough water? Am I over cleansing? Under cleansing?
I just don't know.
And they won't go away. They are melded into the landscape.
Or maybe it's anger painting itself?
Could someone give me an answer?
I thought life began at forty.
Instead, I am reliving my teenage years.
This is the third day of the seasonal linky One Week. Over the next few days (until Friday) I'll be posting a photograph(s) and a few words that diarises and distills my experience of spring '13. Take a peep at the details here. You can join in for one, two ... or the full five days. And don't forget to add #oneweek on Twitter, and comment on each others posts...
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<a href="http://older-mum.blogspot.co.uk/p/one-week.html" title="One Week"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8436/7807711152_5f912c7903_m.jpg" width="225" height="169" alt="one week" /></a>