Monday, June 10, 2019

Looking for the family resemblance

My son looks like me. He has my nose and my lips and my earlobes. My son looks like my husband. He has my husband's chin, and eyes and facial structure. My son got the best of both of us.

When my son was first born, everyone tried to figure out who he resembled. There were folks who claimed that he looked just like one parent, but my husband and I didn't really join in. He looked like both of us. We were insistent about that (despite the preponderance of photographic evidence on my side of the family).

I didn't realize that claiming the baby's resemblance to a family member was a big deal, but there is a lot of evidence that people claim that a baby resembles the father. While no one is sure of why we have these conversations (is it a way to include fathers in the conversation to make them feel more involved? or a way to help designate parentage, since we all know who the Mother is?), I can see the appeal of the game.

In our case, it backfired on a lot of friends and family members simply because my husband and I share a lot of similar traits. So, unless you were looking closely it was easy to mix up which body part came from which parent.

People continue to play this game with us as our son gets older (although it is mostly teachers and friends now) and I have become curious about whey they seem so sure in their proclamations of resemblance. What mannerism from my son did they just witness that made them declare he was just like me? What facial expression did he just give them that made them claim that he was 100% my husband?

Then again, I think back to the wise words of my StepDad upon first seeing my son in the hospital: All babies look like Winston Churchill.

He's not wrong.

Who do you think your child resembles and why? Tell me in the comments. 

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