The water ran down the glass window as I watched them. I stared at them quietly from afar while they, oblivious, went on excitedly playing, giggling, spraying water all around and throwing mud at each other. I wondered about them; I wondered why they seemed like strangers when I was the only person in the world who knew them best; I am the one intertwined with their very existence in blood, in feeling and in soul. These little boys are part of me, as much as they frustrate me I ache for them. Yet sometimes I feel very far behind as they race ahead of me; as if their perfect bodies are time capsules speeding to the future and somehow I have not been quick enough to jump on board.
I think this occasional disconnect I feel has something to do with them not looking like me; I mean not at all. I do not see any physical traits in my children that are attributable to me or anyone in my family and their personality traits will be determined as they grow older. Their looks, build and expressions are all Mr Magentafrog and his family; his genes are of strong Italian heritage and seem to have subsumed mine. They have big brown eyes, muscly bodies and profiles like Mr Magentafrog. The one concession to this is that Masters 4 and 1 are redheads. I do not have red hair but it runs in my mother’s family. Still, this is not enough for me to see ‘me’. There was some hope for me when Master 1’s eyes changed from a steel-grey colour to hazel green, but now they are turning brown.
I think when you know you are going to be a mother there is a little subconscious wish that you will see something of yourself in the little life that you spend months growing and years nurturing and agonising over. This little conceited wish is to see your legacy, to know that your genes have been passed on. Of course, they are genetically my children but when it isn’t so visible it’s easy to wonder where they came from and who they are? And, are they really mine? How is it that I am a Mum now? Then there is the endless commentary about who he looks like; oh he’s got Pop’s nose, Oh he’s so his father’s son, and so it goes . . . It’s all so hard to comprehend in a sea of nappies and sleeplessness.Does it really matter who your children look like? It’s not like they can help it. As I watched them play happily I decided that I didn’t need them to look like me. In fact, all I want them to be is good people with kind hearts and generous spirits. Their squeals and crying jolted me from my reverie as they had stopped ‘playing nicely’ and decided to fight each other by squirting water into each other’s face so both had trouble breathing.
Mmmm . . . Mr Magentafrog says they have my personality!