Posted by GIRL'S GONE CHILD | Tuesday, December 05, 2006
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... "
"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?"
"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.