Before Westley was born, I was insanely curious about who he would look like. I tried to mash up Rob's and my features in my head, tried to mentally merge our kindergarten photos. I was pretty sure any children of ours would have pale skin; Rob glows in the dark, and my foundation shade should be called "Pasty Cline."
Pale parents-to-be, August 2007
Apart from a complexion requiring SPF 35-zillion, no other features stood out immediately. And so much for the better, really. Because when Westley was born, of course he looked exactly like...himself!
January 2008, 1 month old
February 2010, 26 months old
While I certainly wasn't expecting to give birth to a little clone of myself, I really thought I would see more of "me" (and my husband) in Westley. Of course, newborns don't really look like anything but newborn babies. But looking at Westley now, I still don't really see much of me. I know his blonde hair and blue eyes must have been my contribution, and he's got my big ol' sticky-outy ears for sure (sorry about that, dude). Also, Westley is tall, which I figure I'm responsible for. Occasionally, Westley will pull a face that looks just like Rob, but it's really hard to see the father-son resemblance behind Rob's facial hair and grown-up-man features.
At play gym recently, I was talking to another mother about Westley. "Is he yours?" she asked, sounding surprised.
"Yes," I said. And then, gesturing to the sleeping baby strapped to my chest in the Ergo, "She's not. But he is."
The woman was briefly confused, and then (when I explained that I was one child's mother and the other's nanny) embarrassed. I was embarrassed, too, both at having unintentionally embarrassed someone else, and also realizing my strong desire to have my child look like me. As much as I want him to be his own person, I really want people to know he's mine, just looking at him: "Well, that must be his mother."
Because I totally am. I mean, it's rainy and overcast and we're both wearing sunscreen!