My daughter has always heavily favored my appearance, but the other day she rose her eyebrow in a way that was all too familiar.
Her little eyebrows belong to her father. They’re thick, and they arch so close to the end of her brow that she looks perpetually surprised. My daughter is 3, but I first fell in love with the shape of her eyebrows nearly eight years ago, when her daddy’s eyes first rose to take in my view following a stolen kiss under the Christmas lights on the main street of my town.
I fell out of love with the shape of those eyebrows when, nearly two years ago, they furrowed and glowered, and my ex-husband yelled at me that he wished I would go to hell.
My daughter transforms daily from a toddler into more of a girl. Her nose is no longer a button, and it’s taking on a shape that more closely resembles my ex’s than my own. The color of her eyes is dark green, unlike the blue-green of my own eyes. And God, those eyebrows. They speak volumes and they express the inner machinations of her mind, just like they did with my ex. There’s not a day that I don’t see him standing inside my house, looking at me. It’s as though he watches me, grows angry with me and still loves me, all with the dance of her brows. God help her, though, if she ever rolls her eyes at me the way he did as our marriage fell apart.
His face will always be with me. Our marriage is inescapable. I hold the proof at night, when she goes to sleep. And I’m forced to admit, no matter how much my heart wants to forget the past and press forward as though my ex and our marriage didn’t matter — he mattered. I loved him. I loved those eyebrows. I loved much of the life we shared together.
And I can fall in love with those eyebrows all over again. It won’t destroy me. When I see his face in my house, I can whisper to myself, Thank you. Thank you for the daughter you gave to me.