I grew up in the same small town that in which my mom was raised. Same church, same school, same teachers. I also happened to heavily favor my mom. My poor father was stuck constantly hearing “she looks just like her mom!” He loves to tell the story of how, one day when I was about two, he finally got fed up with it. I was half him after all. So when two well meaning (of course) little old church ladies told him for the millionth time just how much I looked like my mom, he replied with, “You know she’s from my loins.” Just imagine the pearl clutching that took place that day—and everyday after—because he still tells people that. I’m 27, y’all.
Obviously, once I was old enough to understand what that meant, I wanted the floor to swallow me whole when he would say it. After 25 years, though, I totally get it. I’m now the proud mother of my own little girl who looks nothing like me.
When my husband and I found out we were having a girl, I immediately started envisioning her. It turns out, that vision always included her looking just like me. I looked like my own mom, so of course my daughter would look like us too, right? Wrong. She popped out looking like a female clone of my husband.
Just like my dad, I now live in the town where my spouse grew up, with a child that looks identical to said spouse. I hear it constantly. Its’ a steady barrage of, “She looks just like her dad!” “She’s definitely a Kahn!” Or my personal favorite, “She looks just like her grandmother/aunt/uncle!” I get it. She looks like every member of my husband’s family—except for me. Me, the one person who carried her inside of my own body for 41 weeks. I know its foolish to let those comments get to me—because they are all well meaning too, but I can’t help it. It hurts my feelings. Whenever I hear it, it’s usually a struggle to fight the urge to not A) cry or B) punch the unsuspecting person in the face. And on the rare occasion that someone tells me my daughter favors me, I have to resist the urge to tackle them in a bear hug.
As my little one gets older, I can see aspects of myself in her personality and some of the mannerisms that she’s picked up from me. Whenever we go back to my home town to visit my parents or grandparents, I usually get told several times how much she looks like me. It’s those few times that I try to cling to and use to remind myself that there are parts of me featured in my baby.
So the next time that you’re about to tell a parent that their child looks just like their spouse? Maybe just tell them that their kid is a cutie—and just leave it at that.