It bothered me for some time that I didn’t see much of me in my daughter. I don’t think at first that I realized that this pushed a button with me, or maybe I felt a bit guilty for even thinking it and didn’t want to admit it. I mean, I spent 9 months growing her inside my body, and I’ve been home with her full time since birth. How could she be SO unlike me? All I was seeing was her gorgeous blonde hair and light blue eyes, which light up a room as much as her outgoing personality, in contrast with my introverted nature and dark hair and eyes. Is that my pale skin, at least? Maybe. These things aren’t the most important in a character-defining sort of way, but…is it so wrong to want a mini-me? I would have hoped to see my influence in there, somehow, somewhere.
Well, fast forward the three years since I met my beautiful daughter, and now I’m taking classes part time towards a nursing degree. Allow me for a moment to show my not-so-inner geek. You know what I learned about genetics in Biology class? That my coloring is genetically dominant to that of my husband’s. My brown eyes are dominant to his blue, so we expected our children to have brown eyes as a given. What I learned, however, is that I would have to also have a recessive blue gene in me, to even give my daughter a shot at having blue eyes. We then rolled the dice just right to have the blue eyed combination express in our daughter, out of the other possible combinations which would have resulted in brown eyes.
So while my daughter may look more like my husband, she actually in the end has that coloring because of me, which I think is completely neat. This more-subtle influence is probably similar to the other less-immediately-noticeable ways I’m hopefully influencing her as much as my husband does, in terms of her behavior, values, and character.
In the end not really about looks, or having a carbon copy kiddo. It’s about seeing something of ourselves in our children. My genetics revelation may have given me a boost, but it’s really just icing on the cake. As she grows, our daughter will continue to reflect how we each impact and influence her, even as her own uniqueness comes forth and takes over. Influential, but not overt; I’ll take it. We, as her parents will lay the groundwork and she can take the reins when she’s ready.