Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Gene Pool Runs Deep

It never ceases to amaze me how the gene pool works. I've got friends with children where the boy looks just like the dad and the girl looks just like the mom. Like - eerily JUST like their parents. We have another set of friends where the children don't look particularly like their parents, but the baby boy is identical to his big sister - I would not be able to pick them apart in baby pictures. Another friend's daughter is EXACTLY like her personality-wise, so much that the poor little one basically can't get anything past her mom, who always knows what she is thinking because they think the same way. One of my favorite pastimes is to check out this phenomena at places like Disney World, where extended families tend to travel together. Yes, I know I need to get a life, but seriously - it is just fascinating to watch how family resemblance evolves over three or even four generations. You can almost pick in the crowd who "goes" with whom.

Cade has always been the spitting image of my husband Aaron. For the first 2 1/2 years of his life, I used to wonder how it was possible that he looked so much like Aaron and so little like me, given that I actually did all the work and carried him for 9 months! In recent months, I've been pleased to see elements of myself emerging in his face. And I am also encouraged to note that he shares my same fastidious dislike of stained/ripped clothing and missing buttons. And "mushy" bananas - he likes 'em green, like I do.

Everything else about him is his father. Today I was watching the boys chase a ball at the park and was marveling at how the backside of Cade is exactly like his father's - right down to the fact that he can't even hold his jeans up because he has NO butt. Same long torso, same skinny chicken legs (and just so I say something nice here - same thick, lush eyelashes, quick mind, and quirky sense of humor). He even has similar expressions as Aaron - my favorite is the one I like to call "WTF!?!?" It's pretty funny on a three year old. Wearing a very "Aaron" outfit (long sleeved t-shirt and unintentionally baggy pants) today, Cade looked like a miniature version of Aaron, with blonde hair (Yes! I KNEW he was mine!) Aaron himself is as if someone poured his two parents in a glass. He is the perfect blend of both their appearances and their personalities.

Drew, on the other hand, shares my build - the two sided pooch (bubble butt and muffin top tummy) and the chubby cheeks to go with it. But everything else about him is a mystery. We haven't quite figured out who he looks like yet - there are several extended family members that share a striking resemblance in baby pictures. In this way, he takes after me as well. I look like absolutely no one in my immediate family, but I'm the spitting image of my dad's sister. Drew does share the same lush, thick eyelashes as his dad and his brother. If we ever have a daughter, she will thank us for all the money she saves on mascara!

There is something very cool about seeing reflections of yourself in the next generation. In some ways, kids are a "do over" - a chance to take a lifetime work of lessons learned the hard way and share it with them so you can spare them from making the same mistakes. This, of course, frees up their time to go on and make different, bigger, and better mistakes of their own.

In light of that, here are today's lessons for Cade and Drew.

Drew: No amount of exercise will take that bubble butt down, so don't even bother trying.

Cade: Start learning how to keep the uni-brow under control NOW, while you're still young.


Linda Kerr said...

Cade looks more like you everyday and Drew does look like your dad, so clearly they are your kids. They are also both your kids because they are nutso about water and ice. Someday when they leave they house they will need lotion too. :-)

My kids are both very much me, me and me. While they look like their father, no personality trait of either of them is him. It's all me...and all the BAD stuff. Ugh.

pollyandaleczmom said...

I think that I have to put my hand up for BOTH the friend who has the children who you can not tell apart in baby pictures (although they do look like their dad) AND for the poor little girl who is just as devious as her mom and can't get anything past her!