“Never leave home without your eyebrows” was one of the Mom-isms I learned at an early age from my mother. Most moms struggle with their adolescent daughters about the make-up issue when girls, starting in middle school, think they are old enough to wear make-up to school. Their mothers don’t, and the battle begins. Girls leave home with innocent faces freshly scrubbed, only to arrive at their first class with a face found on a streetwalker. They smuggle cosmetics onto school premises and share with each other, and are only caught when one day they arrive home, forgetting to scrub the evidence from their once cherubic features.
But that wasn’t the case in my house. My mother was always a fashion plate when I was growing up. I don’t know how any normal woman can look as beautiful as my mom did in the kitchen, first thing in the morning. Obviously, she was from another planet, and I was too thick to figure it out. We were both redheads with fair complexions and eyebrows so light, you could hardly tell we had any. My mother would draw mine in and brush the pencil marks with her eyebrow brush. Then she’d take me to the mirror, and with her hands on my shoulders, she would turn me to face it and say, “Now, doesn’t that look so much better? Without your eyebrows, it looks like you don’t have any expression.”
As I got a little older, she expected me to come to the breakfast table with my eyebrows already on. She also told me a little pale lipstick wouldn’t hurt either. Make-up wasn’t something I was particularly interested in, but I went along with it because it was obviously important to my mother, as if teaching her daughter how to look put-together was an important part of being a good mother.
My daughter would have loved to have grown up under the direction of my mother. The Lord doesn’t usually make mistakes, but I have to tell you, He got it all wrong this time. My mother was the mother my daughter was meant to have. My daughter was one of the most fashionable girls in school, and I can’t take any credit for it. I think she was fashionable in spite of me. But I still don’t walk out of the house without my eyebrows and a dab of lipstick. My mother did her job well.