A neighbor once told me very directly – almost accusingly – “You know, your son looks nothing like you.”
It hurt a bit. I’m not really sure why. It’s a fact, after all, sort of like saying “his hair is brown”.
I know we don’t look alike at all. I love that he looks like a complete, tiny replica of my husband.
Yet there’s a nagging feeling that our son is mine, too, so why can’t anyone see me in him? (It’s there! Really, if you look closely, you can see he has a small patch of red hairs, maybe 5 or 10, right in the midst of his deep chocolaty brown head of hair.)
As fate would have it, our second son looks just like me. In fact, the nurse in the hospital referred to him as a “little white boy”, pretty much counting out my husband’s Indian heritage.
My husband figures that the first child always looks like the father, at least at first. It’s an ancient evolutionary fact, he says, that keeps the dad around. The thought is that if the child looks like the dad, it serves as confirmation he’s the real father, preserving the family.
I’m skeptical. I don’t know that you can tell who a newborn looks like. Though I’m a mother two times over, most newborns look the same to me. It’s after a few weeks when their features start to become more distinct, I feel.
Regardless, now my husband and I joke that we each have one. The funny thing is, though, the little boy who looks like his dad seems to have his mom’s personality while the one who looks like mom acts like dad through and through in his mannerisms.
And in the end, it doesn’t matter one bit who each of our children looks like. We love them just the same and wouldn’t want them to look any different.
What about your family?