When our daughter was born, my husband and I regarded one another quizzically and pondered, “Which one of us does she look like?” For the first week or so we didn’t think she remotely resembled either of us, which sort of threw us for a loop. During her visit to the hospital my Mother-In-Law even exclaimed, “I can’t figure this out. Gray certainly doesn’t look like Brad when he was a baby!” Someone with less acute knowledge of my marriage might joke, “Is she the mailman’s kid?” I hope it goes without saying that the answer to that question is an emphatic “NO.” Anyway, our bewilderment was thwarted several weeks later when my mom showed up with a few photos she’d extracted from my baby book. It has been decades since I’ve seen any of those pictures and I was in for a bit of a shock. As it turns out, my daughter is the spitting image of none other than… me.
“Does my child look like me?” is a question I imagine most parents are at least mildly curious about when they usher a tiny human into the world. After all, who doesn’t want to have their very own little version of themselves leaving footprints in the sand? (For more on that, check out my April blog post, entitled “Adventures With A Future Mini-Me.”) Self-indulgent though it may be, there’s something wildly fulfilling about seeing shades of yourself in a child you’ve created and love so completely. Those subtle, self-reflective nuances are indicative of the legacy you will be leaving behind. They are a tangible reminder that we should strive to set better examples for our children. And yet, you can’t help but hope your child finds his or her individuality. I want my daughter to be her own version of greatness and to forge her own path. There’s nothing more wonderful than watching my child develop her own unique sense of self.
The beautiful truth of the matter is, I can already see evidence of Gray’s distinct personality shining through. Even at six months old, it is unmistakably hers and hers alone. Though she may exhibit some of our tendencies, such as my stubbornness or my husband’s surly expression (a favorite of mine, regardless of who’s wearing it), she also has some clearly distinguishable attributes of her own. She is a careful observer and has a surprising amount of patience for someone in my bloodline. (Except, of course, when she wants food. That lovely trait may have been acquired from me…) Not to mention, the look she gives just prior to soiling her diaper should be patented.
Suffice it to say, though our features may bear a striking resemblance, I know my daughter will walk in her own shoes instead of mine. I’ll be the first to let her know it’s okay to follow the dreams and aspirations she sets for herself; I don’t expect her to live the same life her father or I have lead. Her eyes may look astoundingly similar to mine, but they will see life through a different prism, which is exactly the way it should be.
Until next time… Peace, Love, & Dirty Diapers,
Jenna von Oy
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