My mother was a formidable woman. Heading a household with five stubbornly independent children, there was never any doubt she was in charge.
When my siblings and I shouted and squabbled, Mom needed only to call a few words up the stairwell — “What’s the big idea?” — to snap us into a respectful, somewhat fearful silence. That’s power, people.
If we were in her presence, she never even needed to raise her voice. A lifted eyebrow could make us quake. Once in awhile she gave us a glare that turned our knees to water. The look was sometimes accompanied by the phrase, “I’ve had just about enough of this.” We translated it to mean, “Run for your lives.”
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