Saturday, May 1, 2010

He Looks Like Him

Before my first child was born, I often imagined what he would look like. There wasn’t a day that went by during my pregnancy that I didn’t analyze the various genetic possibilities, sort of the same way my cravings for fat grams led me to explore every combo meal at Taco Bell.

Would he look like me, with dark hair and unruly eyebrows that have a tendency to point rudely at others? Or like his dad, with kind eyes and longer eyelashes than should be allowed to the male species? Would he have my elongated limbs and curious body shape, resembling that of a circus monkey on bad days and an off-balanced giraffe on the good? Or maybe he would have my husband’s cheekbones and perfectly shaped mouth, minus the strange puffing noises often emitted during slumber?

Our respective sides of the family decided the matter for us the moment our son, Chase, was born. “He looks just like a little John!” declared my mother-in-law, a radiant joy on her face as she peered at her first grandson. “This baby is the spitting image of Joni!” exclaimed my own proud mom, holding the infant tightly wrapped like the many double stuffed burritos eaten during the nine months of consumption that ridiculed caloric quotas.

Throughout our son’s eleven years, opinions have differed where his appearance is concerned. On any given day, this compassionate and funny little boy can be told that he looks like one of us, both of us, or neither of us. Ongoing discussions about the likeness of Chase - who is as quick with his wit as he is with a kind word - has been a common topic regarding a child who is anything but.

Over the last eleven years, and despite familial debate, I’ve finally come to realize that Chase doesn’t most resemble his dad. And he doesn't look exactly like me.

Without a genetic doubt, my oldest boy looks the most like Him.

Happy 11th birthday Chase! Your age makes me feel old, but your joy makes me all that much younger. Use your heart for others and your humor for good. Know that you are more than I – or any genetic possibility – could have reasonably predicted.

Now please tie your shoes.

All my love,

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. Psalm 139:14


JMom said...

Joni, this is a precious, precious post. I do hope you will print it for him and put it somewhere special. Awesome. (and HB, Chase!)

Joni said...

Thanks J! That's a great idea!