The husband and I spend our days, and nights, saying things like "whoa she is gassy, just like you" and "your daughter won't stop screaming-- she is angry, like you." The "you" depends on who is making the statement. For what ever reason, I blame everything bad on Anthony, and he does the same for me. Usually it is pretty funny. Occasionally, if I am feeling especially tired or cranky, it is not so funny. But that is neither here nor there. My point is, why are we so quick to pin everything on one of us? Every quirk, every grin, every fart. We think it is straight from us, good, bad, and otherwise.
The first time you see your baby, it is amazing that you are holding this person that you helped create. According to science its technically half mom and half dad. Of course, some kids look exactly like one parent or the other, which always seems kind of funny to me--to see a baby that looks exactly like the adult. A true mini-me. When it is not so cut and dry, when the wee one is a little more of a mix, there is constant conversation about who she or he looks like. I ask everyone who they think Alice looks like. We get a mix--lots of people say she has my eyes and nose and Anthony's coloring and hair. I love hearing that she has something of me in her that people can actually see. Why do I love that? Why is it so important for people to see a little bit of me in her? Partly because I worked so hard to get her here. Then, I carried her for 9 mos (and 2 days) and labored for a good many hours to bring her into this world. There really is something beyond amazing about bringing another person into the world and having her carry a little piece of you around in her, whether it is her round nose, the way her little finger has a crook in it, or that one eyebrow arches and one is straight (all things she gets from me!). It is like mother nature reminding us--this is your baby. You made her and she has some of you in her always. What could be more life affirming that that?
I am so eager for her personality to really start to emerge. Will she be clever like her Daddy and quick to laugh like me? Will she love to organize things like him, or be messy like I am? I truly hope she gets the best of both of us. Because that is what we really want for our kids, for them to be the best versions of us. While I would love to able to see myself in her in every way, it is not only unrealistic, but would not make her the best she can be. The world already has one of me!!! It would do the child some good to get her Dad's good money sense and confidence. And maybe I will have given her some of the things I like about myself--my positive outlook or my creativity. But however she turns out to be, no matter what what she gets from who, she will still be our perfect daughter. Perfect in the sense that she is exactly the way she was meant to be. Even if she gets some of the things that are what make us less than perfect, like a poor sense of direction or clumsiness, that is okay too. Heck, we have been living with them for our whole lives and can share a little bit of wisdom about it! The munchkin will grow up to be herself and there will also be things that did not seem to come from either of us. Maybe she will play the trumpet or love volleyball. We will love the whole package, however she turns out!
I will keep asking friends and strangers alike who they think she looks like. We will always blame each other when she has an impressive dirty diaper or barfs all over us yet again. I will continue to look for little glimpses of myself in her, but I also will take joy in all the ways I see her Dad in her. I fell in love with him for many reasons, and what better way to remember that than to see all the great ways his little girl takes after him. I have always said that I would love for her to have his hair, but even more than that I would love for her to have his strength and determination.
Our child is a shining example of how much we love each other and that family is the most important thing in our life as a married couple. However A and her future siblings turn out, whoever they take after or look like, they will be perfect and loved. And it certainly won't hurt anything if Alice has my sense of humor, lucky girl.