I looked in the mirror the other day, and my mother looked back. As I have gotten older, I have begun to take after my mother more and more. As a child, I favored my dad. Or, at least, I thought I did. I had his brown eyes-not my mother’s blue ones. But as I’ve entered into what some would call my senior years, I remind myself of my mother as she looked in her later years. Something about my mouth, my gaze.
I always thought my mother was a pretty lady. And so you’d think that looking like her would be good news. It is. I guess. I should be happy about it. It makes sense. I look like my mother.
But I’m just vain enough that I don’t want to look like my mother. I want to look like me. What does that even mean? I don’t know. I guess it means that I thought I was unique. And looking so much like my mother erodes that notion.
I look at pictures of me in my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s, and I see no resemblance. I am just me. But now, in my 60’s, the DNA that mom passed along is showing up on my face. I know that looking like my mother doesn’t preclude me from being unique. It doesn’t cancel out my me-ness. And, anyway, I know that who and what I am is partly-largely-because of the mother I had. So maybe she should be allowed a curtain call by showing up on my face.
I guess I’m just a little surprised that even though I feel so thoroughly me, if I were to meet me on the street, I just might mistake me for my mother.