The Things We Give :: Pretzel-colored Eyes and the Night Sky

“Mama, what color are your eyes?”

It seems obvious. But I’ll play along. 

If I had to say a specific color, I’d say it’s a toss up between “puppy poop” brown and “the crunchiest part of the roach” light-brown. Unless I’m in direct sunlight, then it’s affectionately referred to as “muted pretzel”.

Pretzels being far superior to feces and bugs. Hence, why I prefer to make my introductions outside.

I’m just saying, if eyes are the windows to your soul, I’m in dire need of Windex and an apology. 

They are also HUGE; kind of, cartoony. Pairing well with my oversized lips and refusal to acknowledge the importance of eyebrows.

But, they do have one saving grace.

They look incredible on my son. My firstborn. Almost identical to my own, but with a tiny yellow dot in his left eye.

That makes them the most special eyes in the world. He’ll tell you himself.

The Things We Give :: Pretzel-colored Eyes and the Night Sky | Houston Moms Blog

Not, “poop brown” but the the dark Mahogany of your favorite bookstore shelf.

Not, “crunchy part of roach” but the overturned earth in your new flowerbed. 

And if I’m honest, that “muted pretzel” looks rather dashing on him. 

If he had never existed, I wonder if I would have ever seen the beauty of my own eyes. I had no reason to look for it there. 

Kids do that, you know. Make you rethink things you thought you knew with certainty. Especially, the doubts or insults you’ve thrown your own way over the years; the secret hurts or insecurities you harbor. They just don’t see them, and don’t understand why you do. Or why you waste your worries on such things when you should be pushing them on a swing.

Whether we like it or not, we pass on bits of ourselves to our children. Some intentionally, others with reluctance. And they do with those gifts as they please. 

The Things We Give :: Pretzel-colored Eyes and the Night Sky | Houston Moms Blog

My daughter has the same unruly, curly hair I had when I was younger. The kind of hair I don’t really have anymore, but remember fondly. Especially, because my husband said my unruly, curly hair was the first thing he noticed on me. And what encouraged that second, third, and fourth glance. 

Years and years of over-processing, bleaching, and coloring my hair has left it limp and not nearly as curly as the 18 year old he met on the beach.

But now, he gets to see a glimpse of that girl in our daughter’s curls. He reminds her every day how beautiful they are and he devotes hours to untangling and managing them. It’s easily in the Top 5 of most precious things he does. 

And I so enjoy finding my favorite pieces of him in our children. 

Unfortunately, no one inherited his perfect blue eyes, but they did receive his famous dimples. 

The Things We Give :: Pretzel-colored Eyes and the Night Sky | Houston Moms Blog

Dawson has a great mind like his father, but a temper like his mother.

Evie loves the spotlight like her mother, but a bit OCD like her father. 

Our kids are the best parts of us. Mixed with some of the eh parts. But ultimately, completely different and wondrous with their own unique attributes. 

On January 1st, while everyone was writing down their resolutions for the next year, I found myself watching my children in a new way. 

I see myself in them. I see my husband. And I see parts of them that I wish I could be more like. So, for 2019, I’ve decided to learn from the best :: my children. I’d like to keep it as simple and magical as that.

The Things We Give :: Pretzel-colored Eyes and the Night Sky | Houston Moms Blog

I watch my daughter carefully pick out her paint colors, dip several brushes into watercolor, and start her masterpiece. I watch the concentration, dedication, and joy she feels while working on something important to her. I watch her and she watches the paper; oblivious to distractions and wandering eyes. 

She has done this for herself, no one else, and I can see the pride dancing throughout her face. 

This year, I hope to continue pursuing my dream of becoming a published author. I will rediscover my love for writing, for myself, and not wait for someone else’s praise to feel my worth. 

I watch my son carefully construct his lego Hogwarts Express train. “It’s for 8 year olds, but I can handle it,” he says, nonchalantly and without doubt. I see the frustration when he doesn’t exactly understand the instructions, followed quickly with a “it’s okay, I’ll just use my imagination for this part.” With every block, his confidence grows. I offer my help when I notice he’s a bit off track {pun totally intended} but he declines. 

He creation is his own. It’s unique and he worked hard. He never gave up. 

This year, I will stop letting excuses get in my way of fulfilling my dreams. I know things will get hard, I will be tired, and as a mom, I struggle, but if I have decided my dream is important enough {which I have wholeheartedly} then I will MAKE it work. 

I don’t know how many times I’ve watched them fall, pick themselves up, and continue running; eager to finish the game. I’m not sure how many times I’ve lost my temper and after apologizing, received their immediate forgiveness and love. And I’ve lost count of the times they have let themselves become mesmerized by the night sky. 

So, I too will pick myself up after unexpected trials, I will not hold grudges and be quicker to forgive, and I most certainly will find time to sit and marvel at the world around me. 

The Things We Give :: Pretzel-colored Eyes and the Night Sky | Houston Moms Blog

I’ll live like my kids. And maybe, they’ll start to recognize bits of themselves in me. The brave, shiny parts. 

Happy 2019, ya’ll. 

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Britany is currently lost in Houston, but not worried because she brought plenty of snacks. An avid traveler with a wild, squishy heart--she birthed one baby in New Orleans, the other, in Amsterdam. She recently bought a dog, named him Dragon, and brags to strangers about it. In a former life, she owned a wedding planning business; misses the free cake, the most. When she isn’t avoiding cooking AT ALL COSTS, she is trying to squeeze out some good words, hoping to make a living by using her imagination and pen to scare children (the next great kidlit series, they say). She prefers her drinks dirty. Is anxious. Kind of wishes it was Halloween. And will likely hug you a beat too long and make it weird.


  1. What a beautiful tribute!

    I love that my son sees “tiny specks of blue” in my hazel eyes. Those blue specks exist only in his heart and imagination but they make me feel infinitely more beautiful and I know those tiny specks of blue represent the love he sees in my eyes every day.

    Happy 2019, y’all!!


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