Apparently, Julia looks just like me.
We hear it almost everyday. It comes in different ways.
“Do you know you look just like your Mommy?” A stranger might ask Julia sweetly on the bus.
“Wow. She’s your twin.” We hear a lot.
“You’re so pretty. Just like your Mommy!” We get this one from sweet grandmas, as well as creepy men on the street.
I feel like I never know the right thing to say. “Thank you,” seems appropriate although feels awkward, especially when someone is simply stating that we look alike–not that we’re attractive. “Thank you,” that by some random genetic activity my daughter got my nose? Am I supposed to feel thankful about this?
Mostly, though, I’m concerned about how this attention makes Julia feel. She tends to stay quiet. Sometimes she’ll act coy and ask “DO I look just like you Mommy?” Am I supposed to take that you-won-the-lottery tone and say “Yes you do sweet girl, you look JUST like your Mommy!” Isn’t she in some nascent, crucial stage of forming her essential self right now? Crap.
What if she doesn’t want to look like me? What if she wants to look like her dad? She basically wants everything else about him—his career, his sport, his dessert.
At the end of the day, it all really feels like a compliment so I should probably just leave it at that. I don’t want to make this bigger than it is. Just one last thing. And I would have never expected this little bonus to birthing my alleged twin—I feel pretty when these comments come our way. I look at Julia’s lovely face and how she sparkles and I don’t see any of my flaws.
I think she’s beautiful.