Before you were born your daddy and I would muse about what characteristics of ours we hoped you would inherit. "I hope he has your lips," I'd say. "Your lips and your eyes...but my skin." Daddy would wish for my teeth and his height. We agreed that we wanted you to be outgoing like me and musical like him. Some days your dad would hope you'd arrive as a big bundle of me, but with bright blue eyes and some days I realized that his generosity, sensitivity and sensibility were what we should really hope for. Neither of us had the foresight to ask for my appetite and either of our sleeping habits. Oops.
When you were pulled from my tummy and into the bright lights of your new world we would stare at you and try to identify where you'd come from. "Definitely your nose," your daddy would announce triumphantly. "And the shape of your eyes, but the color of mine. Perfect." I would nod and smile at his appraisals, but wouldn't play along. From the moment you were born any preconceived notions of inherited traits were swept aside. From the moment you arrived you were no longer bits of me and him, but simply you. Entirely, wholly, beautifully and frustratingly you.
And so it has continued. Others see you as your daddy in miniature. Occasionally I'll hear that you have my smile. Your grandma says you look like her when you're happy, then pauses to say that I looked just like her as a baby, so she supposes you look like me, too. And once in awhile I'll get a glimpse of your dad - both of you making the same face as he dances with you, or scrunching your nose the same when offered corn - and on very rare occasions, I see myself peering out your bright blue eyes. (Yesterday, when you woke up from your nap I was sure I was looking at a photo of myself as a child.) But for the most part I just take you at face value - your own unique face.