by James P.
middle-aged reflection frowned back at her. She
turned her head from left to right, examining her
they are, she said with a sigh. Just
like my mothers.
be ridiculous, your mother has thirty years on
you! her husband had said before leaving
for work. And youre gorgeous!
youre not! hed assured. But it
was no use. There they were in front of her,
proof of her age.
a soft voice asked.
She turned to
her seven year old, smiling. What is it
you mean, honey?
you and daddy talking about laugh-lines, what are
wrapping her arm around her daughters
shoulders. Nothing important, sweetie.
have laugh-lines, mommy?
luckily, you dont have them yet.
theyre only something you get when
thats not fair!
No, it isnt fair.
honey, you dont.
them, Mommy! I want them too.
looking back and forth between the mirror and her
daughter. You know what, honey? Come to
think of it, little girls have laugh-lines too.
Tammy stood up
straight. We do?
are they? Show me!
on the sofa, she instructed.
comply, Tammy ran to the living room couch and
jumped up on it. Maggie followed. Give me
your foot. Tammy stretched out her short
leg, and her mother caught her by the ankle.
You see all these lines, here on the
bottoms of your feet? These are your laugh-lines,
she said coyly.
those, she nodded. Do you know why
theyre called laugh-lines?
Tammy shook her head.
why! Maggie said as she gently ran her
fingernail across the little crevices on the
bottom of Tammys foot. There was a shriek
and a giggle. Tammy recoiled slightly. Maggie
held a gentle, but firm grasp on her
daughters ankle. See?
Tammy giggled as she squirmed, never pulling her
leg too hard, not really trying to escape.
know what laugh-lines mean, honey? Maggie
asked, still tracing patterns on her
Mommy? Tammy asked, laughing earnestly.
mean you laugh a lot, Maggie replied,
sighing gently. She smiled at her daughter. Her
laugh-lines were showing.