“You know, if we were Memory Game card pieces and you turned each of our pieces, we would not be a match, Mommy. Are you sure I came out of your belly?”
My ever-insightful daughter has recently taken an interest in her appearance and traits. While she has always been a little fashionista, more recently she is noticing the physical differences between us. I did give birth to my daughter (I have the stretch marks to prove it), but she takes completely after my husband. In fact, I remember holding her as an infant and amazed at how much she looked like my husband’s sister. Where on earth were my genes at conception?
This past month, I helped with my daughter with a school project which focused on heritage. She was tracing the women in her family beginning with my grandmother. Like myself, my grandmother and mother are of olive complexion dark hair and dark eyes. There is no doubt we are Mediterranean. As she mounted our pictures with her pictures, the differences were obvious. My daughter is fair-skinned, light eyes and soft straight hair.
As my daughter continued to explain how certain classmates looked just like their mothers, I could sense she was somewhat upset by this.
“Just because we don’t look exactly alike, doesn’t mean anything. We are very similar under our skin,” I tried to reassure my daughter.
We went on to discuss how we are very similar when it comes to our mannerisms and our likes and dislikes. In fact, there are times I must remind myself that we are not best friends right now and that I need to be her mother.
As I tucked her in bed that night, I could tell she was still thinking about our differences as she touched my hair.
“Mommy, you are pretty, but I am glad I don’t look like you because I got the best part of you inside me. I want to be like you when I grow up.”
If I could forever freeze that moment and stop time right then and there, I would have. I hope we still have this amazing relationship as she ages and matures and that I am still as likable as I am now. Sure it is great to have a thriving career and praise from your colleagues, but there is nothing more rewarding than simple affirmation from your very own child.