So much your own

Do they look alike or what?  Grady and Megan,  March 2014

Do they look alike or what? Grady and Megan, March 2014

“Child, who sculpted you,
that your face is so like mine
and yet so much your own?”
       — Joan Walsh Anglund  (I think*)

I was about to draft a post for today when I realized something exciting: it’s Grady’s birthday! But without giving you the exact date, or the number of years that separate them, I have to mention that his mother Megan’s birthday is very near to the same day.

This is one of my very favorite pictures of the two of them.  It’s not particularly flattering; it was one of those casual snapshots that nobody is expecting.  They’re not dressed up and putting on their camera faces here.  But the moment I saw it, I was struck with how very much alike they look in this shot.

From the day Grady was born, I always thought he looked like Megan.  At times, I will see an expression or a behavior that reminds me of Drew, but for the most part, I think he has more of his mother’s looks.  Yet he is very much an individual too.  It has always amazed me that no matter how much we try to imagine babies before they are born, they always defy our predictions and turn out to be completely unique. I think that’s a wonderful and divine thing.

I’ll bet you have lots of children in your family who look remarkably like one of their parents or grandparents, and yet are completely, unforgettably themselves.  Fred Rogers is right: there is no one in all the world exactly like each of them — or you either, for that matter.

Happy Birthday Grady!  And Megan, too!  You both are cause for great celebration.

*Disclaimer: This poem is quoted completely from my memory; I believe that it came out in Joan Walsh Anglund’s wonderful book A Cup of Sun, which was published in 1967. Though she is a prolific author whose work was enormously popular (I met her at Rich’s department store at the height of her fame, and she is a beautiful person), much of her work has become mysteriously obscure.  In fact, the U. S. Postal service recently featured a poem from that same book on the Maya Angelou stamp, and President Obama (among many others) mistakenly quoted that poem as having been something Angelou wrote

I don’t want to add to the confusion by misquoting her again, so if any of you happen to have access to a copy of A Cup of Sun, please enlighten us and/or correct that verse if my memory has failed me!


  1. bobmielke

    What always amazes me is that children are adopt as babies they still grow up to look like their adopted parents. Amazing!

    • Bob, that’s so true! I have known some adopted children who were so remarkably like their parents, that I wondered whether adoption agencies try to match them up on purpose. I do think we tend to pick up mannerisms and expressions from the people we live with, too.

  2. Carolyn

    Love the picture and he sure does like like his mom. We can show our Josh pictures of a young David and he thinks it is a picture of him. I love getting the kids together and looking at pictures and letting them tell you who they think it is. Hope you all are doing okay. I’m holding on, been a rough week. I will see the ortho dr. in the morning,will give you an update next week.I have been wishing for some cool weather, I need my porch, it has been so hot but Terry said it is nice outside right now. Think I will get my coffee cup and go outside for awhile. You all have a great week end.hugs and love to all. Carolyn

    • Hi Carolyn, thanks for checking in. I think of you often and pray you are doing well. I hate to think of how often you, Jeff and so many others have to endure those rough days and weeks. I hope you will get a break from the hot weather soon. We had rain storms today and while the humidity is bad, at least it cooled things off somewhat. Love to you and Terry; I appreciate you being here!

  3. Carolyn

    I forgot, Happy Bithday Grady and Megan.

    • Thanks Carolyn, I think they had a big time!

  4. A Happy b-day to both!

    • Thank you, Alan!

  5. Sheila

    Good Thursday to you, Julia. 😎 Happy Birthday, Grady! 🎂🎈🎉 Happy Birthday,(before or after) Megan! 🎉🎁🍰 The photo is beautiful as it captures the moment so perfectly. I can imagine that “Baby Grady” has grown taller than the baseball bat that was the growth chart at first. Enjoy!

    • Yes, Sheila, Grady is three feet tall now, which supposedly means he will be six feet tall. We just got finished singing happy birthday to him via skype and I thought I was really clever having candles for him to blow out– but I didn’t realize I was dripping wax on the keyboard (even though I was using tealights? That’s how graceful I am) and now quite a few of my keys are sticking — YIKES!!! Thanks for your birthday wishes!!

  6. A beautiful quote for a beautiful photo. It’s enchanting to look at the two of them with that similar expression. I think children mimic the faces and expressions they see. Maybe it depends on whose face they see the most? They both look quite thoughtful. Wish them both a happy birthday from your virtual friend. Hugs, M

    • Thank you, Marlene! I agree that kids do tend to mimic the expressions they see, but perhaps some of it is genetic too…Drew has so many mannerisms that are like my maternal grandfather, whom he never knew. I’m glad you were here for the celebration today!

      • I agree with you that they can carry back mannerisms from previous generations. Even several. My daughter carries a lot of French Canadian Indian in her. Her brother did not. I can’t tell you how many generations back that goes. 🙂 You have every reason to be proud of that beautiful family

        • Thank you Marlene! 🙂 ❤

  7. Beth

    Julia, send me your mailing address 😊 I’m sending A Cup Of Sun your way. Much love, Beth

    • Oh, Beth! What a lovely surprise to greet me this morning. ❤ I should have known that if anyone still had that book, it would be you. I'll send you my address…I can't wait! 😀

  8. Julia, good morning. Happy birthday wishes to Megan and Grady.
    July is full of family birthdays and mine and Gerald 56 anniversary. Wow! the years fly by…

    • Merry, SUPER congratulations on your 56th! What a blessing to hear about those who have reached such a happy milestone. July really is a month for celebrations!

      • Julia, thank you for your kind wishes. ❤

  9. Ann

    Your blog is always such a happy and cheerful site😀

    • Thank you, Ann! It’s a great place for me to “escape to” when things are sad or scary.

  10. raynard

    Julia , thanks again for making my ” Birthday Cannonball Run( when was really what I called”Operation Blessing Julia with Chocolate Cake a success. I went to see my 2 youngest daughters yesterday in NJ. They just wanted to give me a belated birthday gift, another cookbook. The youngest one is now driving and i was teaching her” to to park, K turn and” how to handle curves on back roads.By example and” telling her” If you can see yourself in your mind doing it.( fancy way of saying” if you believe right/ lol. I have all 3 of my daughter’s birthday’s starting this week.( guess I’ll go back to making” stick figures lol. be blessed

    • WOW, three daughters’ birthdays in ONE WEEK? I bet the local shoe stores know you by your first name!! I meant to send you a birthday card but the past week was chaotic — this has to be the first time ever that someone gave me a cake on or near their OWN birthday! The cake is long gone but not forgotten and I have the FitBit scale readings to prove it, hee-hee. It was such fun getting to meet you, Mary and Ms. Ella. I appreciate your braving the traffic and not giving up and turning around. I have not yet even gotten the photos from my camera for the past couple of weeks, but I will warn you before I post any of them. We were all so happy that we got to spend some time with you. After meeting Ms. Ella I am extra-extra glad that you and Mary are taking care of her — she is a total sweetheart!


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