Monday, March 30, 2009


2 b: an inherited characteristic

As I watched K at a birthday party yesterday, I puzzled over how this child could be mine. I see nothing of myself in her, apart from her dark brown eyes. She is graceful, rhythmic, attention loving, talkative, silly, funny, extroverted and a performer. These are not traits we share.

Now, I don't want my daughters to be ca
rbon-copies of me. I am thankful that they are all more well-rounded and more secure in themselves than I was at their age. Many from my side of the family talk about how A is so much like me, but I look at her and see a graceful dancer, aware of and living out her gifts and wonder how they can think she is like me. Yes, she loves to read, is serious beyond her years and soaks up the conversations around her, but she is much, much more than I was and I hope she will do many things I've never done.

When B was little, I wondered how on earth she was created b
y pooling my genes with J's, but over time I've begun to see that perhaps I could have been more like B had I not been the first born child, had J been my father. As I try to truly see the world with my own eyes and not through the filters others have placed over my vision, I think of B's ability to see a new, different way to do most anything.

But K? I just don't know how she is like me and that makes it hard for me to relate to her. I love her and feel like a bad mother that I look at her and wonder, "How is it possible we are related?" How do I find a playing field for us to share when h
er favorite field is the performance stage and I am set on staying in the wings? (She wouldn't want me on the stage with her anyway because the whole point is to have all of the attention to herself!) How do I find a common vocabulary for us to use to communicate? She is only four, but I wonder whether we'll ever have commonalities. Does she have any traits that were inherited from me? Geneticists would tell you she must, but they must be buried far beneath the surface.... or perhaps only on the surface in those brown eyes.


rufusjt said...

I love the picture of K's eyes.


Variations On A Theme said...

I feel that way about Olivia sometimes. She is so strong. Ben is so sensitive - he seemed like mine from the start.

Anonymous said...

Wordgirl ~
You have given Kate the security and comfort level to be who she is, that is your commonality! She has always adored her "mommy" and will always look to you for your approval, that is my guess - the years ahead will tell. There is a picture of Aunt Harriet holding her when she was a baby and I saw a connection -- are those two somewhat alike? What does your mama say?
Mary (I love her eyes too!) I was always comfortable with my mom, but did not want all the attention in a group, then I was actually shy!