My mom has beautiful eyes that she shares with two of my three sisters. They are beautiful blue eyes. I call them the Carroll eyes because my mom’s brother has those eyes, so does her sister, so do my cousins. When the family all comes over and they are standing in the living room or sitting around a table, you know who belongs to whom. Their eyes all twinkle in precisely that same way when they smile and laugh. (Don’t worry about that third sister of mine, she and my baby brother have the same eyes and they share those with my dad.)
I don’t know when it started but I play this little game every time I am out in the world seeing families together. I look back and forth from child to parent and try to match up their faces. Baby got daddy’s chin but mommy’s nose. That child belongs to those parents. I would wonder what it must feel like to wake up in a house full of people who look like you. Does it help you feel like you belong? Do you notice? Does it matter?
I know, I know. I grew up with my brother and we have brown hair and brown eyes but that is where our similarities end. He is really tall and skinny and I am shorter and dumpier squatter meatier less skinny. He is really attractive and, well, I have a great personality.
I have read that people who spend a lot of time together do start to look similar even if there are no genetic bonds so when someone would tell me my sister and I had the same smile I would preen like a peacock. I would smile knowingly when I was told that I looked like my dad. Of course we did, we were family after all.
But still, I knew…and I was jealous of the Carroll eyes.
…until…I saw my mama…