When my daughter was born, I remember the nurse placing her on my chest. She looked at up me and gave me one of those fleeting newborn smiles. I cried tears of joy. Then I laughed and I couldn’t stop laughing. It was like having a miniature version of my husband looking up at me.
When my son was born, my husband held him up and declared: “He’s cute but he doesn’t look anything like me. His nose is so big. ” I remember thinking, he looks like a tiny wise Chinese old man. Later that day, when my in-laws came to the hospital to meet their new grandson, my husband looked at his father and suddenly yelled, “IT’S YOUR NOSE!”
When a new baby is born, one of the frequent favorite topics among visitor is to discuss how much the baby resembles Mama or Daddy. But as our two little ones grow up, it’s been even more surprising and fun as we catch glimpses of various other family members, from grandparents to distant cousins. Physical traits which we don’t recognize in ourselves seem to have hidden inside our chromosomes only to be mysteriously manifested in the next generation. A sharp pointy chin. Round chubby “pinch-me” cheeks. Perfectly deep dimples. Laugh crinkles around the eyes. A 2nd toe that is taller than the big toe. Fat flat feet. Long thin fingers. Full plump pink lips. A headful of silky black hair.
It’s amazing to think that biologically these children are 50% mine, 50% his, but when we pick apart all these little perfect details, we start realizing that they are a constellation of the entire family… But after all, isn’t that exactly what genetics is?