Searching for the Resemblance


Archer doesn't look like me. Or his Dad. He looks a little like his Grandpa Norm and a little like his Uncle Dave but until recently we kind of thought he was switched at birth. Or I did. Not really but a little bit.

I imagine every parent thinks so once in a while. Or at the very least, once. Especially when their child looks nothing like them.

When I was a little girl, I was the only blonde in a family of brunettes. So naturally I thought I was switched at birth. I looked nothing like my brother or sister or parents or grandparents or cousins.

"Who do you look like?"

"No one. I'm adopted."

Typical teenage attitude except a part of me believed it to be true. Everyone else in the family went together. And I felt like the "blonde sheep" in a family of straight-edge, straight-laced brunettes. Needless to say I had identity issues.


When I was pregnant I wondered who Archer would look like. Would he have green eyes like me? Or his Dad's pouty lips? Would his laugh be giggly like mine or throaty like his father's?

When people meet Archer they always ask, "who does he look like?"

And I usually shrug. "I don't know. Do you think he looks at all like me?"

"Um. Not really... "

Silence.

"I mean, YEAH! Sure he does!"

"He does? Here, let me show you his feet! He has my toes EXACTLY!" Because he does have my long finger-like alien toes. And my skin. We're the same shade of pale."


I can't explain it. In fact, I am embarrassed to admit the overwhelming need to look at my child and recognize myself in him, somewhere. He is his own little person, after all. And coming from me, means simply that. He came from me. He doesn't need to have my eyes. Or my nose. Or my anything for me to know he is my child. But that doesn't mean a small part of me doesn't wish that people, upon meeting us didn't have to ask if he was mine.

I'm not the nanny, actually. I am the mother.


The other day I got a call from my mom. "Guess who Archer looks like?"

"Who?"

"I emailed you a photo. Go see."

And what do you know? He looks EXACTLY like my late Grandfather-- my mother's father, Louis, when he was a little boy:

The spirit of (St.) Louis is alive and well in the Arch. Same hair. Same eyes. Same expression. Same shape head. Same little hands. The resemblance is uncanny.

And a part of me is relieved. He has inherited more than just my alien toes. I only wish my Grandpa was still around to see himself in Archer, because I bet he would have liked that.

GGC

38 comments:

Lux Lisbon | 5:12 AM

Spitting image! Wow!

I have a mini-me and it is crazy to look at someone and know what they are (pretty much) going to grow up to look like.

Kell | 5:22 AM

Oh wonderful!!!
I know where youre coming from. My firstborn Tom was the image of his father so I knew he wasnt switched at birth but he didnt look anything like me...EXCEPT, his ears! Exactly the same as mine. Like spock ears. All wonky.

Ruby looked like me. Still does but I find it hard to see. I cant look at her and see myself even though I know she does and everybody tells me she does.

Sylvie, I dont see myself or Jim in her much but we found a photo of Jims dad as a toddler and they were the image of each other. Its far back in my blog somewhere, I'll have a look for you.

Sonny's Sonny. He looks a bit like Jim, nothing like me but has many brothers and sisters across the world who look very much like each other. Its wonderful!

At least Roo looks a bit like me. Its nice.

Wendy | 5:23 AM

Wow...that is unreal - how amazing ... Archer is a handsome little dude - how phenomenal to find that thread to the past..

Kell | 5:26 AM

http://lovepinkchampagne.blogspot.com/2006/04/pappa.html

Theres the blog entry with Sylvie's Pappa's photo.

Muchest love K xxxxxxx

Susan D. | 5:32 AM

For the longest time, we couldn't tell who our Esther looked like, except for her eyes which are her dad's. When people asked who she looked like, I said she looked like herself! Now that she's 2, everyone says she looks like me but I just can't see it - looking at my baby pics, I was nowhere near as cute as she is...

braiding mommy | 5:50 AM

It keeps changing - I can't tell you how many "She must look just like her daddy!" and "Don't worry, people think I'm just the babysitter too!" comments I got when Lydia was newborn to 18 months. Since then, she's evolved to take on more of my characteristics - even my cheezy smile for pics. It's more of a mix now.

Archer does look just like your Grandfather. And I am sure he'll pick up more characteristics (feature-wise) from you and your husband as he grows.

mm | 6:25 AM
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Blog Antagonist | 6:37 AM

Good gracious, that really is uncanny!

Neither of my boys look like me, and they don't look like each other either. But I've found that they each resemble me in ways that are not obvious, but are much more meaningful to me.

Andrea | 6:48 AM

He could have your kick ass writing talent. He could have your insatiable appetite for adventure. Or your sense of style, the hippest of his friends. Gabe is somehow a morph of both Mike and I. Someone will say he looks just like Mike, and then half an hour later, someone will say he looks just like me. I think who they resemble changes over the years. I used to look like my dad, and now look more like my mom.

Mrs. Chicky | 7:09 AM

When I was younger I used to say I was the mailman's kid, which was funny until everyone in my family started to go along with it.

mamalang | 7:17 AM

My oldest daughter is a morph of all of us (which is actually kind of funny, since she is my stepdaughter and still has a bit of me in her looks...lol) The next one is my mini-me, but better, and the last is his father's mini-me. However, when you look at baby pictures of the last two, they look exactly alike except the color of their eyes! What's really fun to watch is the stuff the emerges as they get older, the way they follow in your footsteps doing things you did as a kid...then it gets eerie!

Archer is a doll, and it's great that your mom found that family link!

toyfoto | 7:17 AM

I would have given anything NOT to look like my family. *Sigh. ... And the whole baby not looking anything like me thing really struck me hard. People say she looks like me but I don't really see it. She's got an upturned nose, brown hair and blue-green eyes. I really fretted about how something that swam around in my gene pool (not to mention my abdomen for nine months) could look nothing like me.

Gwen | 7:23 AM

Wow! Crazy combination of genes being passed down through generations.

I was also the only blonde in a family of brunettes, but since I grew up in the jungle, and didn't look Indonesian either, there was little chance I was anyone else's baby. I was told I looked like a great grandma but I've seen her pictures and ... Yikes! I hope not!

People tell me my oldest daughter looks like me, although I don't see it. But my youngest looks *exactly* like her father (anyone else hear the research that says babies look like their fathers so that the fathers don't kill them, I mean, errrr ... claim them? I guess it's evolutionary leftovers like the appendix), and while this may be TMI, it was completely freaky when I was nursing her because I would look into her face and see .... my husband. Weird.

My dad always liked to definitely end discussions of which parent a child looked like by saying this: "She looks like herself."

Ellen Wernecke | 7:28 AM

I thought I was the only one who grew up not even remotely resembling my siblings! My parents' excuse was, "Your grandmother was blonde growing up, we just don't have any color pictures to prove it." Which, when you're a teenager, is TOTALLY LAME, Mom and Dad, like, can't you just FIND a picture?

Sharon G. | 7:39 AM

That picture is crazy.
My little girl looks just like my dad - she has the same attitude, the same dirty looks, same cheeks. Anyone who knows my dad automatically comments on how much she takes after him.

My mom has a pic of me when I was 1. When my neighbor saw it, she asked, "When did Sharon take these pictures of her baby?"

That made me feel so good. She does look a lot like the one-year-old me in that picture. I bet if you look at your baby pics you'll see a bit of Archer.

foodiemama | 8:00 AM

i never looked like anyone in my family either. until, like your mom, mine found an photo of my maternal grandmother at around 14-15 and it was insane how exactly we looked alike esp since i was the same age at the time when we foind it..same paige boy bob and everything. its weird how those things work out...for now gus is a spitting image of me but he looks absolutley nothing like his father, hehe.

Keri | 8:01 AM

Wow! What a beautiful photo of your grandfather! I can't believe the resemblance!

People say that my son looks like me. I agree but the hair, sheesh, where the hell did that come from? I was born bald and when I finally had hair at 2, it was white-blonde. Now the natural color is dirty blonde (I dye it). It seems that my mother's grandmother had strawberry-blonde hair but there is no color picture to compare. =(

Brianna | 8:44 AM

Wow. Cool photo!

My little cousin (about 10 years younger than me) looks like my mom, and I look much more like her mom, my aunt obviously. I think it's always made my mom feel kinda' crummy. I thought she was going to cry this weekend when we were at a wedding and her friend commented on how much we look alike. She was so happy.

Personally, I think I'm a mutt...I don't really look like either side very much. Kinda' weird. My brother on the other hand, spitting image of my dad. Go figure.

Diana | 8:57 AM

My family seem to skip generations- I supposedly look like a combination of my two grandmothers (they both passed before I was born). I, too, used to think I was adopted. Now that my son is here, I was paranoid that they switched him because he doesn't look like me or my husband, but it turns out he looks like my mother. Spitting image, just like Archer and your grandfather. Scary but awesome.

Jonathon | 9:49 AM

Well, I've never met ya in person, but I've always thought you and Archer looked alike.

Meena | 9:55 AM

Boy, do they look alike! I remember being really paranoid growing up that I was adopted. I wonder why we fear that? Only thing is, I did look exactly like my dad and my parents were so dirt poor and young - why would they have adopted me??? :-)

I know that need/want to see some resemblance. Only, I can see it, especially my daugther - our baby pictures are very similar. The thing I can't see is when everyone tells me the kids look alike - I can't see it.

ewe are here | 11:05 AM

Remarkable resemblance between your boy and your grandfather.

Genes are funny things...and so are families. They see what they 'want' to see quite often. ;-)

Our 19 month old has light blond hair and blue eyes, whereas my husband and I both have/had brown hair and brown eyes. My husband is half Norwegian, and his family sees the Scandinavian side of the family in him. But my family thinks he's the spitting image of my mom's youngest brother. I think he looks like, well, himself!

sunshine scribe | 11:18 AM

Wow ... that is almost unbelievable.

My son is biracial so he looks only a little like me and a little like his dad. My mother in law tried to sell me on a photo of my husband as a child being a double for my son ... maybe a little but NOTHING like this one of archer's great granddad!

petite gourmand | 11:53 AM

wow, he looks exactly like his great grandfather.
That's why I love looking at old family photos so much,
It's so fascinating to see how sometimes certain physical traits skip a few generations.
very cool.

mothergoosemouse | 12:03 PM

I love old pictures. And yes, he looks like a twin to your grandfather. How great of your mother to send the picture to you!

Neither of my girls is the spitting image of anyone - yet. But it really doesn't bother me. What bothers me is when everyone tries to TELL ME who they look like, when they don't look at all like that person.

And if you ask Tacy where she got her big blue eyes, she'll reply "From the mailman."

Momo | 12:18 PM

I swallowed hard seeing the pictures, the resemblance...your little boy has such a mysterious attitude!

mrsgreen | 3:48 PM

BINGO. He is exactly like your grandfather. Isn't that crazy how it skipped took a few generations, but the genes weren't diluted? My brother is a red head with pouty lips, who doesn't look like my parents or sister and I (who DEFINITELY look alike). I used to tease him that he was switched at birth. Children are cruel.

kittenpie | 4:59 PM

Ah, sweet! Misterpie and I actually look a lot alike, soi there wasn't much doubt, but Pumpkinpie is like looking in a mirror for me. I showed her pictures of me when I was her age and asked her who it was - her response was, "Me!"

Mom101 | 5:56 PM

You're nuts lady - I see you in him absolutely. But that photo is uncanny!

Anonymous | 6:34 PM

First of all wow, what a resemblance! maybe not O.P.P but Archer is definitely down with O.P.F.(other people's faces-ha!) My oldest daughter looked NOTHING like me when she was born. To be honest,I still don't see it. But I brought her to work and the maintenence guy saw her (without me) and knew who she was right away. So there's still hope. If nothing else he seems to have inherited your facial expressions which makes him look even more like you! ~jjlibra

Kristen | 7:23 PM

THat is so cool!

My mom also has some really old pictures of her grandparents, etc., and I found some of a great uncle that look exactly like Quinn. There are also some of my mom and her sisters as babies that look amazingly like my kids. Genetics are cool.

the mad momma | 12:42 AM

oh but i always thought i could see a resemblance to you in the pictures...

my son is a carbon copy of me. even i cant deny it. strangers on the road take a look at the hubby and me and irritatingly tell him that his son carries no trace of him.

Alisyn | 7:55 PM

That is freaky. And AWESOME! Genetics are *such* a trip.

PS - We're working side by side at Babble. :)

mo-wo | 12:33 AM

That is quite a resemblance. I share your slight embarrassment about coveting resemblance. My daughter has from day one been "just like her Dad"... I sometimes have to remind myself she is at all mine genetically and instead see myself as having an intellectual stewardship only... then sometimes I see how vocally and emotionally she can be my doppelganger.

My son was more mine than his for a while but a friend spoke out 'wow he looks just like his Dad, eh?' and I shot her a look. Wish I could stop caring. blush

MotherBumper | 4:11 PM

That is so cool, the resemblance is right there in that photo. Though I do also agree with Mom-101, I see you in Archer especially when he is giving that upward come-here look complete with sweet smile.

I can see me in Bumper once and a while but we still haven't placed the hair, eyes and all just yet. I wish we had more photos of our relatives.

MotherBumper | 4:13 PM

That is so cool, the resemblance is right there in that photo. Though I do also agree with Mom-101, I see you in Archer especially when he is giving that upward come-here look complete with sweet smile.

I can see me in Bumper once and a while but we still haven't placed the hair, eyes and all just yet. I wish we had more photos of our relatives.

MotherBumper | 4:14 PM

That is so cool, the resemblance is right there in that photo. Though I do also agree with Mom-101, I see you in Archer especially when he is giving that upward come-here look complete with sweet smile.

I can see me in Bumper once and a while but we still haven't placed the hair, eyes and all just yet. I wish we had more photos of our relatives.

MotherBumper | 4:17 PM

That is so cool, the resemblance is right there in that photo. Though I do also agree with Mom-101, I see you in Archer especially when he is giving that upward come-here look complete with sweet smile.

I can see me in Bumper once and a while but we still haven't placed the hair, eyes and all just yet. I wish we had more photos of our relatives.