She watched her son push a monster truck from one side of the porch to the other and flipped through the pages of the magazine without reading any of the words. There were pictures of pumpkin muffins and kids with safety scissors doing rainy day crafts, impossible recipes and ads for ferns that were guaranteed to be delivered fresh. It was mental junk food that felt only a little better than binge watching, Glow Up, her latest interest.

She delighted in the crinkling sound of the pages turning as they slid from one side to the other by her wetted index finger. She licked her finger to prepare for another page turn when her restless eyes stopped at a section with the keys to smooth skin. Smooth skin equals younger looking skin, which was never something that mattered until her face started to tell on her age.

An obsession had recently taken root in her mind about her skin, fine lines were forming and would soon be wrinkles. Freckles, once a cute accessory from being outside were now the tell-tale signs of sun damage and future cancer. She noticed for the first time the commercials on tv for anti-aging products and started to watch for sales at the drug store on serums and creams that promised to tighten and smooth and basically turn back the hands of time.

The products were expensive and filled with complex and exotic ingredients. She knew entertaining this fad was not sustainable, especially as a stay-at-home mom/unemployed person, but it didn’t stop her from ripping out the section from the magazine. She studied the must-haves and used her phone to price them out online.

Younger skin must wait, she tried to calm the anxious consumer inside of her brain that demanded attention and looked back up at her son who had stopped pushing his truck and was hanging on her knees ready for a new activity.

He wore a black Mickey Mouse sweat-shirt like a crop top, showing his tummy and good three inches of his forearms with a pair of above the knee shorts.   

Priorities, Puney. Priorities, she reasoned and tucked the page into her pocket for later.   

The sacrifices a mother makes are endless and unnoticed, unless they result in tighter, smoother skin.

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