About 10 years I was required to get glasses so that I could drive using road signs, rather than relying on my internal sat nav. Turns out I had the unflattering condition of ‘saggy lens’ (who knew?!) and I’m now staggeringly short sighted in my right eye.
Despite the ridiculous cost for my student loan, I didn’t mind getting glasses. I fancied they would give me an air of sexy librarian (though Velma from Scooby Doo is probably more accurate given my short arse, DIY haircut, and purchase from the Specsavers budget range).
But inferior vision aside, I’ve always quite liked my eyes. They’re expressive, I can make my lashes look super long with minimal make up, and I like their hazel colour. But what I really like is their family resemblance, which links me to past (and future) generations.
I’ve been told that the person I look most like is my granddad, a Yorkshire gent who migrated to London with a beautiful Austrian (my grandma) who he fell in love with during the war. I never met him, but I feel like I have when I compare our photos. We have the same expressions which start with our smiley eyes. This feels like a gift; a uniqueness that allows me know someone who died before I was born, and which allows people who knew him to see him in me. It’s a funny thing, a resemblance so striking. Is it a coincidence I ended up in Yorkshire as well?
When Baby Girl was born, friends said they’d never seen a new born who looked so much like her mum. Yup – she had my eyes – with banging eyelashes to boot. As her face matures her daddies looks are appearing and she’s inherited his bluey grey irises. Her Mancunian granddad is also in there, which I guess makes her a beautiful hybrid of red and white roses. But how cool to have a baby so unmistakably mine!
While windows and souls may be a bit cliché, eyes evoke memories of other people so remarkably because they can change a whole face with a look. My daughter is now linked to her great granddad through her mum’s smiley eyes, and I love how that makes him still present in our family.
And growing up a Yorkshire lass would make him proud too.
What makes you love your eyes? Do you have a ‘family feature’? Comment in the box below and share your thoughts.
More reasons to love our eyes:
How babies colour in their world