It’s the swoosh of those strenuously long eyelashes that makes me go weak at the knees.
I know she is cute in so many ways, who better than me, her mother, to name them all, but most definitely the eyelashes are my weakness, maybe out of maternal pride (look at that Voguesque attribute that formed in MY uterus) or jealousy (I glob and glob and glob endless vats of mascara promising to deliver half her natural length.
I am lucky if I’ll get a third).
They get me every time.
“Pleease, mom, please”, she pleads in rhythm with her swoosh.
Each time those lids close I swear I am being fanned.
She clutches the bright white bag with psychedelic red, blue and yellow dots floating amongst its brazen “WONDER BREAD” inscription as if it where her most treasured American Girl doll.
I appeared shell shocked and just looked around aisle 8 anxiously hoping no one would recognize me.
How on earth would I, a self-ordained food snob, explain my offspring cavorting with such low-grade food fare?
“Come on, Dani, it has absolutely no nutritional value”, I attempted in my most maternal tone, all the while picturing mush clogging up an already clogged colon (mothers really can picture this).
But I haven’t described to you the color of her eyes yet, have I?
They are not the light sky blue eyes that I carry; eyes that, growing up amongst Venezuelans whose standard oculus color choices range in brown, dark brown and black, were both cherished and gawked at as if they made me into some unique species.
Nor are her eyes those of my Venezuelan husband, a non-descript muddy tone that falls under the dark brown category.
No, her color is one all of her own, as if her tiny DNA ladder took a dance with sky and sludge to decide which she’d end up with and couldn’t make up its mind so she ended up with a strange mix of the two.
A swirl with the heavens and the earth leads to a most interesting hue:
rich honey, like amber with splotches of gold and even a speck of green (my father’s hazel making a quiet cameo appearance).
And why stick with one tint when you can have them all, her tiny, logical blueprint thought to itself?
And so she hasn’t, for those swirls of colors do change depending on my daughter’s outfit, her mood, or the clarity of the day.
Every sunrise holds a new surprise as to what color eyes she will have – a constant motion of change and beauty, much like her.
So I am telling you when those killer eyelashes brush over those unforgettable eyes (today the color of wild blueberry honey) you buckle at the knees and even allow a loaf of Wonderbread to be boug ht (and not even hidden, you balance it right on the top of the shopping cart, damnit, next to the organic free range eggs and the locally grown arugula, because you don’t give a crap anymore, you are forever swollen with love over that beautiful gaze you somehow participated in creating.)
She knows she has this hold over me because she looks in my direction and throws two more blinks.
“Thanks, mom” she says, with a subtle yet victorious grin sliding on her face.
I know she knows how easy that was.
I know she wonders what else she can get and whom else she will sucker if her mother, The Toughest of the Toughest, caved under seven blinks.
I know she knows all this.
Aside from having stunning eyes she is incredibly smart.
But I can’t help myself.
I can’t say no to her eyes.
At home I place the white spongy bread next to the hearty multi-grain loaf.
It is bright and bleached and happy next to its sullen, heavy healthy counterpart.
Thanksgiving has just ended and I find myself recalling my childhood right after this holiday where turkey was enjoyed best in a sandwich: thick chunks of meat slathered with mayonnaise and thinly sliced red tomatoes.
The bread was always lightly toasted and white, airy and delicious.
I know I have a whole Tupperware filled with leftover turkey.
No need to hide from anyone anymore, I am still under my daughter’s eye spell and the grains can wait; I am suddenly craving that wonderful memory.
Wonderbread Turkey Sandwich
2 slices Wonderbread, lightly toasted
immeasurable amounts of mayonnaise
Makes 1 sandwich