Family resemblances are a pet project of mine. I am endlessly fascinated by how people look and act alike.
It is, I presume, the result of being adopted and growing up without seeing another person who looks me.
Catherine’s birth nearly 17 years ago began to change that; she looks a bit like me, especially around the eyes and in her smile. And as she’s grown, I see she has many of my mannerisms.
Early on, I guarded each of her features fiercely and I was
very overly sensitive to people who fussed about how much she looked like Basil.
“Me!” I wanted to scream. “She looks like me!”
The truth is she looks a bit like both of us — and mostly she looks like herself!
Still, catching glimpses of myself in her always makes my heart beat a little faster.
Since January, there has been someone else I can look to for some clues to my appearance.
Pat, my birth mother, sent a photo a few days ago of her at 19 or 20.
Basil looked at it and said, “Yup. I see it.”
Catherine hemmed and hawed, and a friend looked a printout, then back at me several times and said, “Eh.”
But when I dug out my college portrait, the closest I had to a good photo of me at about the same age (please overlook the frosted hair), the resemblance began to come into focus, much as some of the pieces of me are starting to fall into place now that I am in touch with Pat.
Check it out: