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April 25, 2006

Comments

Erica

That's a beautiful picture of you & Girlfriend! Honey, belonging has nothing to do with looks. Like you said, Herman was a dad in every way that mattered. Yes, there's a certain connection seeing how your biological grandfather looked, but trust me -- Girlfriend won't feel any less your daughter b/c you have yellow hair and she doesn't. Trust me, you're her mom in every way. She may not look just like you, but she's a terrific blend of you & HWWV, which is better.

BTW, thought of you the moment I walked into Mollie Stone's tonight and saw a big display of kitcheny stuff that was all about the green (and yellow and orange, but I zoomed in on the green). Tried to come up with an excuse to buy some of it for you, but I have other nefarious plots afoot....

Wendy

Lovely picture! My husband is Korean and both of my girls look like me (not the least bit Asian.) Sometimes I see a little bit of my husband in their eyes. I do wonder though when they get older if they will change and look more like him.

Michelle

Genetics have so little to do with belonging in families.
It is amazing though the impact they (genetics)have especially seen over long periods of time - like the physical resemblances you saw in the picture. One of my Uncles and my younger brother have all of my late Grandpa's mannerisms, posture and speech patterns. The older they get the more it shows. In fact about a year ago out of the corner of my eye I thought my Uncle was my Grandpa.
Families pass on more than looks and so much more is conveyed through our daily interactions - Girlfriend is your baby and she will carry a part of you within her as she grows. It may not be her hair colour, or sense of humour but it will be there and you will see it more clearly as the years pass.

The photograph btw is beautiful!

Aija

Beautiful photo.

My mom (blonde, blue eyes & almost 6') would often be stopped in public areas by strangers who remarked, "what lovely children, where did you adopt them from?" ... as we were half asian.

Inasmuch you can see bits of yourself from that photo, I can see myself in my mom-- perhaps not in something as obvious as my eye color or hair, but in her mannerisms, her walk, her weird too loud voice... :) I often felt a sense of not-belonging because no one I knew looked like me-- it took a while to stop noting what others saw and see myself thru my own eyes.

And, Girlfriend sees her mom! :) Kids are strangely their own people, though I keep trying to mold mine into a mini-me-- it shocks me sometimes how much he is his own person.

Great post, thanks for making me stop and think for a bit. :)

Lara900

lovely picture of you and your daughter.

I think about genetics and belonging a lot: my ds's biological father having tried to kill ds and myself (when I was 5 months pregnant with ds), I hide from him and do not have any contact with him. Will have to explain some of this later. And will certainly show pictures to ds. Don't want to have a taboo subject in the family.

Jo

This was a very touching post. For what it's worth, while I don't have a story like that, my daughter and I don't look much alike, either. I have dark hair (with a few ventures into vivacious redhead) - but my daughter has butter yellow hair. It amazes me everytime I look at her - while pregnant with her I always assumed my daughter would look like me... how arrogant of me! :)

Jo

Ella

Beautiful picture!
I thought as a young child that I was adopted, as I was born with white blond hair and blue eyes, and my parents and sister all have brown eyes and dark brown hair. However my paternal grandmother was also blond and blue eyed, a recessive gene in the family that until then only showed up every couple of generations. Over the years my hair has darkened and there's no mistaking that my sister and I are related.
Girlfriend will probably want to dye her hair blond one day to be just like you!

Meredith

I love the picture! I am adopted, and have never seen my birth parents so growing up I never had anyone that looked like me... my mom and sister have blond hair and hazel eyes, and I have dark hair, blue eyes, and freckles! There was no mistaking that "one of these things is not like the other" ha ha. I have a beautiful 7 month old baby and I thought, how amazing it will be to have a blood relative that I can see myself in! Well she came out looking like the spitting image of my husband with dark olive skin, dark brown hair and big brown eyes! She looks nothing like me at all! I have to laugh!!!!

yarnyogi

My daughter is also half-asian and doesn't have my, as she calls it too, "yellow hair". When she's out with my partner and I, I'm sure everyone assumes we have adopted her. It does hurt. As long as I make sure that she knows she's loved more than anything, we'll all be ok.

Jen

My theory is that Girlfriend is a creative type and she's learning practical application of colors. My natural coloring is dirty blond hair and hazel greenish eyes; my mom's natural coloring is chestnut hair and gray eyes. Even today, although we both dye our hair sort of reddish, my favorite coloring in people is dark hair and light eyes.

Your daughter will be that way too. Different doesn't mean "unfamiliar" or "wrong." It will be a great comfort to her all her life.

:o)

amandamonkey

Your knitting content is fantastic, but I like your family writings the best.

Silvia M

When girlfriend gets older she can talk to me. My mom looks like you, and I look like girlfriend (or at least a dominican version of girlfriend). She got lots of stupid comments in 1970s Baltimore (are you the nanny?), and I really wanted to look like her. Today, though, I see how much we look alike, even if I'm not blond and blue eyed.
I was hoping the early 2000s in Florida would be easier, but with my girls (one little dominican, one little german- like my dh) I still get weird comments. People are always commenting on the color of my younger daughter's eyes (blue), as if I'd lucked out or cheated the system in some way. Yeah, she's pretty, but so is my brown eyed girl. I just remind myself that their grandkids will look just like me...

Wanett

I think it can be harder when they look like you but act completely different. You could look at a pic of my daughter and myself at the same age and not know who is who. But she is so different from me at times it's scary, but great because she has none of my shyness and all of my sarcasm. She is her own great little person and a good mix of her father and I. She has never meet her paternal grandfather (he passed away years ago) but she stands exactly like him. These things are weird but I can totally identify with wishing I could see more of me in her.

heather

My poor kid is the spittin' image of me. I feel sorry for her. :)

But, my dad was adopted, and I always wonder about my real genetics. The crazy grandmother knows who the real parents are, but won't tell anyone.

I think your family is beautiful Wendy. Maybe someday, when Girlfriend has children, they will have yellow hair just like you.

Kirsten

My husband is Indian, and my side of the family is Swedish and German. Yes, I have yellow hair. (Thanks to Kathy, my colorist). I once had someone stop me on the street, as I pushed my three children in a stroller, and asked if they were adopted! The three of them look so much alike, two of them are identical twins, and not at all like me. Their coloring is my husbands. But as they grow older, (they are 12,12 &14), I see my fathers personality in my son. My sisters perfectionism in one of my daughters, and my own creativity in all three. Wait, as Girlfriend grows older, you will start to see yourself, and your family in wonderful and surprising ways.

elizabooth

Oh, what a lovely post. My little one has yellow hair (which I realize may change) and blue eyes like her distant Finnish relatives while her dad and I are both dark haired and dark eyed. If we have another kid, I doubt if that one will receive the same recessive genes that Ruby somehow snagged. I love that Girlfriend is so dark. I'm sure one day a wonderful man will think that she's exotic.

Veronica

I think your post today is very interesting. My mother and father are of different races and I (dark skin) married a white man. When my daughter was born she looked just like her daddy. Light skin, blue eyes and everything! She and I are like night and day too. Its been a big learning curve trying to deal with a daughter that doesn't look or act anything like me. My son however, could have been my twin! So I walk around with a white mother, husband and daughter while my father, son and I are all darker skinned! People often look at us and I can tell they are trying to figure it all out. Add to that the fact that my kids really resemble my parents when they were young. I feel like I'm raising mini versions of my parents sometimes. Weird but wonderful!

Marsha

Beautiful post, Wendy!
Aren't genes amazing (thank you God!)? My first husband was very dark haired and brown-eyed. My four boys all got my blue eyes and light, almost blond hair! Now, my 6 yr old granddaughter has "yellow" hair like grandma's (thanks to Clairol) and people are always saying she looks just like me! Isn't it funny how people see what they want to see? It's like an e-mail I got recently where all the words were jumbled but the first & last letter of each word was correct. It was easy to instantly know each word - something about how the brain processes information. I think that most children will favor one parent over another in looks. In a lot of instances like yours, the parents are strikingingly different and it becomes very obvious. But then, that's what creates strikingly beautiful children like Girlfriend! She wouldn't have looked just like she does if it weren't for the genes from YOUR gene pool too!

June

Eyes of the beholder - when I see half-Asian kids, they look very white to me, but when my husband looks at them, he sees strong Asian features.

Jennifer

I'm half Chinese, and my mother was also blonde. People used to think we weren't a family until they saw us standing all together. Identity is a tricky thing. When I was growing up, it felt like a struggle, not a horrible one, but still a struggle to define myself as biracial. However, there are so many more biracial people now that it's easier for kids now. My kids are a quarter Asian. I married a white guy. My son has an Asian flavor. People ask if he's mixed all the time. My daughter is blonde. My dad has pictures of them both in his office. People have asked him, who's the blonde girl on your wall. When he explains that she is his granddaughter he gets incredulous looks.

I have to say that I'm happy that I'm mixed. I enjoy my heritage, and your daughter will too. And who know? Perhaps she'll have a blonde child, and HWWV will be asked one day, "Who's that beautiful blonde child in that picture?"

Judy

What a wonderful post. My two children are each a weird mix of my ex-husband and me -- my son has his "outside" and my "inside" while my daughter has my "outside" and his "inside." And yet, they are both unique individuals. It's wonderful.

Karen

Genetic relatedness is no guarantee...once when my sister and I went to visit my grandfather, he took us to meet his neighbor. She said to my sister, "I've met both your parents and you look so much like both of them!". Then she looked at me and said "and honey, the postman must have been very handsome!"

marnie

Looks. Sometimes they matter. I was raised strawberry blonde with straight hair and green eyes in a (biological) family of dark brown haired, curly headed, ice blue-eyed people. I still feel as outside of the family fold as I look. Now my daughter (biological) has the same curly hair, but my coloring. I'm still the only straight-haired person in my house but when my daughter touches my hair and says "I like your hair. You don't have any curly hair." I know that it's not a judgement on her or on me. It's just a statement. We're in the process of a trans-racial adoption and I know the differences among our family members' appearances is about to be magnified tenfold, but I think as long as we don't judge it, it doesn't matter who sees it.

Amy Jo

Nice post. You have such a unique voice that comes out on your blog. I love that HWWV said you looked exotic. Did you think the same of him?

Elspeth

Did you see that article recently that said that natural blondes are dying out? So in the future, people will ask Girlfriend why you don't look like her!

My kids outwardly look a lot like me, but then I look closer and they don't at all. But we do still have strangers commenting, it's just a different comment!

Nice picture, too!

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