Before I had Eliza, Howie and I spent a lot of time daydreaming about which of our features we wanted our child to receive. I still have in my wallet a little piece of paper that Howie slipped me one night at dinner. It says “I hope our children have your nose.” Le Sigh.
The point is, pre-baby, we were completely focused on our physical features. My nose, my smile, Howie’s gams (especially if we had a girl), Howie’s eyes, Howie’s hair, Howie’s wit, ahem…my wit. Okay, so wit isn’t physical…but I think we can all agree that I’m more witty than Howie.
So since Eliza’s been born we’ve gotten out the baby pictures and tried to make a comparison. It’s tough because neither Howie nor I were first children…and therefore there aren’t a lot of pictures of either of us at Eliza’s age. I think it’s safe to Howie’s parents took more pictures than my parents…or at least they have developed more. Most of my baby pictures are packed away somewhere in an old Kodak slideshow.
Thankfully when we got married our parents pooled what pictures they had. Catherine made a touching slideshow of our pictures at various ages and read a story she wrote that wove our experiences together. Recently Howie Sr. sent us a set of prints from that slide show.
Here are some examples:
It’s been fun to look at old pictures of ourselves and try to compare them to Eliza. But to be honest, I’m not sure I see anything as direct as “my nose,” or “howie’s eyes.” Shes more like a composite of us. And I guess that’s perfectly normal. In fact, as several friends have pointed out…like many married couples…Howie and I are really starting to look more and more alike.
But with all this attention on physical features, before we had Eliza, we didn’t really consider what really matters in the first year: disposition. In other words, how she sleeps, how she plays, how she eats, and how she vies for our attention. And in that way…she is all Howie all the time.
Now for the collective knock on wood as I lay down all of the wonderful ways that Eliza is like Howie (and therefore very unlike most babies). She’s independent, not fussy, can go for long periods without eating, falls asleep pretty easily (even in noisy places), needs space, loves to be on her tummy (okay that’s like most babies), is very smart and she’s really into Kate. In other words, her father’s daughter. I feel very very lucky for that.