|They get their athletic prowess and their|
fashion sense from me
When my first daughter was born, visitors immediately began remarking on her long, slender fingers, apparent at even a few days old.
She gets those from her great-grandmother, stated my mother-in-law, proudly.
She gets those from my mother, stated my mom, proudly.
Look at her wide-set eyes, somebody else commented. She gets those from her father.
Her lips? She gets those from my side, said a member of my husband’s family.
Her obvious petite-ness? She gets that from me, said my mother, my mother-in-law, my grandmother-in-law, my sister, my sister-in-law and my other sister.
As my daughter got older, the claims to her charms did not subside.
She gets her beautiful singing voice from my grandfather, the Cantor.
She gets her cleverness from my father.
She gets her straight white teeth from our side.
Of course, fragments of my second-born daughter were claimed immediately as well:
She gets her blonde hair from us.
She gets her gorgeous blue eyes from our side.
She gets her sense of humour from me.
She gets her musical sense from my father; he was a drummer, you know.
She gets her musical sense from my mother; she played the organ, you know.
I love that my family can instinctually see their mark on my children. I love their unquestioning bond and I am thankful that my kids have so many people intrinsically, physically, psychically connected to them.
But I had to wonder – did I have anything to do with how my kids have turned out? Besides giving them life, I mean.
Then one of my children flatly refuses to acquiesce to a request I’ve made.
She gets her stubbornness from you, you know, states my mother
And if one of my children gets upset because her sister is not following the exact rules of a game?
Wonder where she gets that from, says my husband, sending a glance my way.
Impatience at a lolly-gagging family member? That’s all you, Karen, says one sister.
Complete ability to ignore a circumstance not to their liking? Mirror-image Karen, says another sister.
Cranky when tired? Picky at meal time? Can be kind of a know-it-all?
Karen, Karen, Karen, chimes the chorus.
Then one night, while considering whether the apples falling off the tree are destined to all be crab apples, both my kids crowd into me on the couch. I bury my face in their sweet-smelling heads and tell them that they are the best snugglers in the world.
We get that from you mum, says my seven year old.
Because you give the best cuddles, adds my five year old.
They may not have my hair, my eyes or my fingers
But I’ll take it.