Circa 2001, we were out at Dave & Buster's with our friends Brooke and Rusty when we came across one of those novelty takeapictureoftwopeopleandseewhattheirkidswilllooklike photo booths. All you had to do was fork over a few bucks, select your ethnicity, and smile for the camera. Rusty, as seriously funny as he is seriously Caucasian, and I should note married to a natural blonde, had to be talked out of selecting Asian.
The laughs grew as we realized that our fake supposedly composite children resembled each other more than any of us. It was oh so not scientifically based.
A friend of mine was commenting today on her blog about how she had suddenly realized, through pictures, that her new daughter's hair is changing. I've always gotten a kick out of watching people grow up through pictures, trying to guess what they will look like as they get older, not just as children but through their adult years as well. Probably because I am an only child, I have always been especially fascinated by siblings. When anyone we know has a second child my first question if they resemble their older sibling as a baby. It's not so much the individual features that I'm interested in, but the overall picture.
Earlier this month J's sister had her second child. Our family had a great time guessing what our new niece would look like. Her son, undoubtedly is the spitting image of my ex-BIL. Taking my SIL's fair skin and striking red hair and combining it with her fiancée's dark olive skin and Cambodian roots was a combo that we just could not picture. She was only a few days when Jon's mother produced a picture of him as a newborn that you would have sworn was our new niece Emily. Freaky identical.
(I can't describe Emily except to say she's outrageously beautiful. There are a few pictures on Flickr.)
J resembles his dad, and he unquestionably resembles his sister, but she is certainly not just a male version of him. Neither of them look even related to their mother. When a long lost half-brother of theirs showed up at my FIL's door a year ago both my SIL and FIL thought it was J. "They could be twins!" Whatever...we didn't think so. But I did think he absolutely looked like my FIL. I've always been told that I look like both my parents, though I more strongly resemble my dad. Everyone agrees that the Cracker looks like my dad, but not usually like either one of us.
Confused? So am I, and I actually know all these people.
Today Jen reminded me of the time when I too realized, through a picture, that the Cracker had lost almost all of the dark brown hair he'd been born with. It was a really weird moment: you've been there nonstop but you miss the gradual change until one day it just slaps you upside the head.* We had just gotten a hiking backpack and I just had to take pictures of His Cuteness in it even though he was still far too young to actually ride in it.
*(Personally, I blame hats. I had quite a serious baby hat fetish. Trying to find a picture of his hair was way harder than it should have been.)
12 days old
6 weeks old
His hair quickly came back in: light brown at first, gradually becoming blonde.
And then there's that really neat point where they stop being infants and start being little people, and you can finally really see what they're going to look like as child. As they grow they look so much the same yet older.
A few months ago, as I noticed that the Cracker's hair is slowly getting darker, I began to wonder what color hair he will have as an adult. I think the reason people ask about his hair is that he has the same weird almost greyish tint that mine does. (Or maybe I'm just going grey?) I suspect it will be in the brown family, and I'm really starting to lean towards thinking it will be the same as mine. (Except by then I will be grey, and we'll never get a good side by side comparison.)