She Has My Eyes
She has my eyes, but not my hips. In hers, I see a never-ending story taking shape. It is for her to author, and one I cannot edit or even co-author. Instead, I am relegated to a room with a view. Watching her take those tentative steps from daughter to independent woman—the same ones I took a lifetime of yesterdays ago—takes the breath from inside my chest.
“Call 911. I’m having a heart attack.” My husband ignores me.
He remembers the countless nights I’d place a compact mirror under her nose to confirm she was breathing and when that wasn’t enough to reassure me, I’d sometimes nudge her until a perfect piercing scream broke the silence and woke the dead. Bliss. Satisfied she was alive, I’d climb into bed and send my husband in to rock her back to sleep. He never quite forgave me, which explains why he refuses to call 911.
“She’ll be fine. Go stalk her on Facebook,” he tells me.
What does he know that I don’t? The weight of her uncharted future sits squarely over my left ventricle, trapping my breath. How can I not worry? She has my eyes, my heart, my drive, my propensity for reckless abandonment, my fearlessness, and my weaknesses.
“I. CANNOT. BREATHE,” I mouth. He pours me a glass of wine, tells me to chill, and reminds me of her brilliance and that she’s just like me.
Exactly! Not good. For the millionth time I ask myself, why didn’t you just adopt a pet rock? No fuss, no clean up, no worrying, no need to let go or consider the alternatives, like hiring 007 or having a GPS device inserted for 24/7 peace of mind. How is it she’s the one living La Vida Loca and I’m visualizing every horrible plotline from Law and Order, where the girl goes missing or gets hurt by some random psycho because she smiled? I reach for the glass of wine.
I don’t know if I have the fortitude to sit on the sidelines of her life while she charts her own course, when for the first eighteen years I was the keeper of maps, navigating her to and fro, far away for treacherous waters. Will she falter after a trip down the ravine of life? When she fails, will she know it’s both OK and expected? Will she know how to sidestep potholes? Will she remember how to navigate a 360-degree turn if she’s in a tight spot? Will she stay away from vampires and werewolves and reconsider the boy from high school? Will she cry a river of tears when her dreams dissolve in the horizon? Will she realize, as the author of her story, she can begin anew by turning the page? Will she rise to any occasion? Will she laugh at herself after the tears have dried? Will she endure all the seasons of her life without bitterness? Will she believe in herself, in magic, and in the mystery of life even when she has lost her way? And will she remember the only voice that matters is hers?
“Bring me the bottle of wine,” I call.
My husband rolls his eyes and returns his attention to the computer monitor. I walk past his desk and stop midstride.
“Why are you looking at Tasers on Amazon?” He shrugs.
I lean in closer to read the description.
Terminator 7,800,000 V Stun Gun with LED Flashlight, one of the most powerful stun guns
“How much is it?” I ask.
We lock eyes for a second and realize the insanity of the idea. He’s breathing in my crazy air and wondering what I wonder.
“She’s a sophomore in college living in an apartment with roommates, friends she met her freshman year. It’s not as if she is living in the Tenderloin. She’s in Santa Fe, for heaven’s sake. What could possibly happen in a town where the happening spot on Saturday night is karaoke at Applebee’s?” He asks me.
What do I know about her roommates? Background checks—not a bad idea. I make a mental note and leave him to fester while I fetch the bottle and another glass. He will need it.
He is right about one thing. My girl is brilliant, and what she and I have in common cannot be a bad thing. I survived my reckless years and even the ones between when I lost my way and watched in horror and nearly drowned in despair when a few dreams of mine evaporated. I’ve fallen down so often I sometimes cannot remember which position is upright, yet here I am, still enthralled with the mystery of life after all of my ups and downs.
“I. CANNOT. BREATHE. CALL 911,” my husband mumbles and then proceeds to guzzle his glass of wine. “Pass the bottle.”
I sip mine and breathe comfortably. She’ll be all right. She has my mettle, but, thankfully, not my hips.
ABOUT BRENDA: Brenda Moguez, is writer embracing her inner Xena, Princess Warrior, as she tackles the list of possibilities. She favors writing a story over vacuuming the dust bunny commune growing under her bed. When she’s not sitting on her bed writing she’s thinking about writing. She is currently finishing the second novel while shopping the first one. She’s lives in San Francisco with her family and a fat cat. All but the cat has accepted her passion for writing. You can find her at http://www.brendamoguez.com/, where she explores passionate pursuits in all its forms.
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CONTINUE READING IN THE BEDROOM
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