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Mom's Iron Eyes
by Amy Kenneley

Mom didn't rule with an iron hand. Her eyes were all she needed.

Well, she had a little help with her eyebrows as well. I learned early on to watch out for "The Look." It could bode well for me….or not.

"Mom, this bathing suit is on sale, I love it-can I get it?"

Mom's eyebrows rose like startled doves and her eyes goggled. (If that was not a real word- it should have been.)

Without her saying anything, I knew I would not be wearing a two- piece suit this summer.

"This is so unfair! I tried and tried and all I got was a D!"

Mom's eyelids lowered, and those x-rays came out of each iris, finding the little chink in my indignant armor-- the notebook with unfinished assignments.

"When I grow up I'm going to eat fudge every day for breakfast, buy silver high heels, and drive a shocking pink convertible"

Is it possible for silent laughter to show in eyes? I guess Mom's did when I confided my careeer plans. She raised one eyebrow archly as if to say, "We'll see."

"I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry. I know I should have watched the time but-I met this boy….."

Mom's brows came down across her eyes like the lid on a hot kettle, and the steam --I swear-- was shooting out of each side of her eyelids. I couldn't look at her. The Medusa had nothing on Mom's fit-to-be-tied eyes.

She had an "intent" look, too, when you knew she was listening to you closely.

And she had an "approval" look sometimes, when she was really pleased with me. Usually a smile went with that look.

And sometimes her eyes would "dance"-you know, when she was so tickled about something, a joke or a secret.

And of course there was no fooling her because she also had Eyes in the back of her head!

And then there came a day.

"Mom, I know I'm kinda young yet, but we want to get married-will you sign?"

Mom must not have been listening, because she was looking past me, and her big expressive eyes were just blank. Then they filled with tears.

Each time she became a grandmother, she cried, too. But these were tears of joy.

She now had plenty of grandkids who would get the whole "eye" treatment.

But I know "The Look" she gave them most often, was the one she gave to me, too. It was her eyes showing Unconditional Love.

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