“See, Grammy, we are just alike.”
I noticed this comment from Gabby more and more after the wedding although the comment had crept into the conversation before.
“Grammy, we look alike. Everyone says so.”
At her age, I was a rather homely kid. My sisters were telling me to stand up straight and suck in my stomach. My hair was full of cowlicks. I didn’t have Gabby’s sweet little nose or round face. But I’ll take the compliment.
Friday night the comparison loop continued to circle. Gabby discovered that we sleep on the same side of the bed, we both like books about fairies, we love nature. The list went on and on. The little detective was analyzing my every move adding the sameness we shared to a long list of ‘maybe we are twins’.
It’s a little scary being a role model for a child, especially one you cherish. Before I knew it, I was looking at both girls wondering what likes we shared. Were they only picking up the good parts of me? Were they also picking up the weaker side of me?
I’m not sure I like having little eyes analyzing my every move. As a matter of record, I am not perfect. In fact, I’ll go a step further in stating, “I am imperfect.” Yet, in the eyes of this eight-year-old, we are alike. Maybe she is just becoming more and more aware of personalities and preferences. Or is she looking for confirmation of who she is?
I would like to be like her. She has a warm heart and a zest for life. Gabby is fearless, sensitive, silly, beautiful. She is a role model for everyone. I’m wondering if she is looking for the sameness in the two of us as a way to find herself. If we are the same, then our relationship has not changed in spite of the changes in her life over the last year. I represent stability. I let her know that she is still my Gabby, loved and is not changed. Or maybe is just self-awareness that has brought on this analysis. Whatever it is, I have a responsibility to make these things we have in common special and positive for her.
Maybe in discovering our sameness, we discover our uniqueness. Perhaps in this dialogue we can be stronger. Our common likes, common interests take us to new adventures.
“Grammy, we both have dirty blonde hair.” Yes, we do, Gabby. Yes, we do.