So much your own
“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!