Second Thoughts: If he looks like us, he must be oursShe studied the baby’s picture carefully and then said the right thing: “He looks like you.”
By: Judy Wiff, River Falls Journal
She studied the baby’s picture carefully and then said the right thing: “He looks like you.”
But the woman sees me regularly, and she isn’t likely to be called to account by little Will’s other grandparents, whom she doesn’t know.
A couple weeks ago my son asked me to bring some of his baby pictures when we came to visit his newborn son.
I think Will looks like my family, especially like my daughter, the baby’s aunt, when she was that age. His other grandmother thinks he looks like her daughter when she was an infant.
Will’s parents have reached an opinion — probably achieved after hours of studying the babe — that he looks like his dad from the middle of the nose up and like his mom from the middle of the nose down.
Leslie demonstrated the resemblance Monday by holding her hand over first the lower half and then the upper half of her baby’s face.
She is right. He has his dad’s high forehead and wrinkles it the same way. He has his mom’s chin, though his dimple is his dad’s.
Our two extended families are assimilating a newborn, the first that we share, and I still find this who-does-he-look-like thing amazing. Especially, because I am so caught up in it.
When my first grandchild, Abigail, was born, there was no doubt. She looked, and still looks, like a miniature of her mother.
When Abby’s brother, Andrew, was born, it was clear he looked and was built like his dad, my son-in-law. Andrew also has an easygoing personality that he did not get from my side of the family
Their other grandmother had several grandchildren before Abby and Andrew. She admitted privately to me that the excitement of a new grandchild is a bit less as there are more.
But we are still in a world of firsts. I have one daughter and one son. My daughter and her husband have one girl and one boy. Now my son and daughter-in-law have their first child — which makes him a first for her family too.
I am determined not to be competitive, not to wrestle for the affections of a grandchild. That would be silly.
My birthday present this year was a framed photo of Will sitting in his infant seat wearing a T-shirt that says, “If Mom says no, ask Grandma.”
I didn’t give him the shirt. I’d wonder if his other grandmother did — if I was a suspicious person.
His other grandfather, who is a bit older than my husband and me, is talking about retirement. The thought would cross my mind that he wants more time with the grandkids — if I was a suspicious person.
After my granddaughter was born, I jumped in and offered to babysit the first time her parents thought of going out. Early bonding is important, I thought, but so is getting your foot in the door first.
With my daughter’s children, we’ve developed traditions about who hosts each holiday and where the grandkids spend particular weekends. Grandma Mary has kittens and a big hill for sliding, but I have a woods with secret places and a classroom with child-size furniture for playing school.
It works pretty well.
Awhile back my daughter gathered her two children and their belongings after they’d spent a weekend at my house.
“Hurry up, we’re stopping at Grandma Mary’s on the way home,” said Lisa.
“Grandma Mary, oh boy,” said Andrew. “My favorite grandma.”
“Huh?” I demanded.
I watched the little guy’s face as he realized what I meant. Then he grinned and threw his arms around my legs.
“You’re my favorite too,” he said.
Sounds right to me.