When Monkey made his appearance into our world--surprising us, my doctor and the specialist who told me I could never have children--we were blessed to see a wrinkly cutie pie that had features from both sides of the family. People comment that he is a perfect mix of my husband and me and, really, once you hear the word "perfect" in a sentence referring to your child, you just stop listening anyway.
When we were lucky to get pregnant a second time, Munchkin popped into this world looking a little different. Her complexion wasn't the same brown hue as her brother's and her hair was lighter but she seemed to resemble my mother and my husband's grandmother. Now, as Munchkin approaches her first birthday, one passerby after another has said Munchkin looks just like me. After hearing that sentiment echoed by friends and family, I felt a little stab of fear. Yes, I want my kids to look like us--our parents, our siblings, their cousins--but faced with a little girl who is just like me, I felt concern instead of joy and I didn't know why.
I had to sit and really analyze those feelings before I realized what was bothering me. The truth is, I don't want Munchkin to be like me. I want her to be better than me. I want her to be smarter, more confident, and prettier, as superficial as that may sound. I'm old enough to be comfortable in my skin on most days, but I don't want Munchkin to face the same challenges I did. I want her to have that grace that makes her worry less about what others think and be successful in ways I'm not. I want her to be more assertive and more patient than I am. It's not that I wish her an unusually easy life because people who never overcome obstacles rarely discover their own strength or learn to live on their own merits. I just wish her a better life.
Even though my desire is couched by our resemblance, this wish is echoed by parents around the world who want their children to have a better education, more opportunities, and a bigger income than they did. It's echoed in the sentiments I have for my son. That said, kids can't accomplish much of anything without a good foundation and the best foundation to give any child is acceptance. I'll brush aside my fears for now and accept Munchkin and Monkey for what they are, no matter who they are like.