one of those “omg” moments!

My grandfather and son - why didn't I spot the resemblance sooner?

My grandfather and my son – spot the resemblance?

Family resemblance is a very slippery thing. People I know who were adopted have reported being told how much they looked like their adoptive parents or siblings, and even within biological families there are always arguments about who someone “takes after.”

When my son was a baby, I thought he looked like me and in fact, people used to describe him as a “mini-me”. Later, I could see both of my brothers in him, but the general consensus lately has been that he’s really, really like his dad.

So I have to say that I was a bit stunned when I looked at the photo of my grandad as a young man, and all I could see was Tom. It’s there in the eyes, the cupid bow lips – and especially in the nose. I’ve always thought my siblings and I got our features from mum’s mother’s family, but perhaps not.

My grandmother always used to say that Tom was like his great grandad – and that was where he got his auburn hair. But since my partner also has auburn hair, I tended to dismiss everything my gran said as at best, a bit misguided. But I was wrong, and I wish I could apologise to her.

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14 thoughts on “one of those “omg” moments!

  1. Say sorry anyway, I am sure she is listening!

    Family resemble is a funny thing and even mannerisms. We were in Australia recently. I was walking with my Cousin and his wife and my husband were together behind us. All of a sudden I heard “look at that” from my Cousin’s wife when I turned round she commented that Cousin and I had been walking in an identical way. Coincidence or is there more to it?

    • If I believed in an afterlife, I’d certainly apologise. Actually, posting this is a form of apology.

      And I do think that there are family mannerisms – even in cousins – where they can’t be accounted for in terms of the same upbringing.

  2. Yes I can see a definite resemblance. That must have given you a funny feeling. I have always thought both my children look like their dad until my husband (their step-father) took an old passport photo of mine and covered my hair with his fingers. There was my son’s face! I was stunned! My daughter looks like my mother and my ex mother in law.
    Tomorrow I will go through what photos I have of my ancestors (not many!) and see if I can see any likenesses!

    • It was weird; I’d seen likenesses amongst all my siblings, cousins and my son to just about everyone else, but never spotted that one! I wish I had more photos now; I’ve trawled through virtually all those I have and am beginning to ration myself because I’m worried I’m “running out.”

  3. Family likenesses are fascinating, aren’t they? I look most like my mother, but when we used to go up to Scotland to visit my father’s family they kept saying “she’s just like Matt’s daughter”.

    However, I remember reading – a long time ago so I can’t remember where – some research an academic had done which showed that people tended to marry someone who had a “my family” look about them. If that’s true, then it’s not surprising their offspring end up looking like both sides of the family!

    • Hi Judy; thanks. The whole topic of resemblance is interesting isn’t it? The research sounds fascinating; I’m sure up it’s right – familiarity and all that.

  4. Oh yes… the similarity is very clear. I’d been emailing with the nephew of my Grandmother for about a year and then saw a photo of him and almost went into shock!!! … the spitting image of my eldest brother.

    I sent John a photo of my bro and he replied by saying that his wife walked past, when he had the photo on the screen, she glanced then came back for a second look saying… “When did you have that photo taken?” Amazing, eh?

    • Love it! Years ago we had arranged to have the daughter of one of my cousins to stay. She was visiting New Zealand in her gap year and we were to pick her up from someone’s house. Being me, I had totally forgotten the house number (actually we were lucky I remembered the street name), so we were driving along, arguing about my incompetence when I started waving my arms and telling my partner to stop. “I know where we’re going”, I proclaimed. And I did, because sitting on the front step of one particular house was a young woman who was the image of her grandmother – my aunt.

      • Oh yes… made “goosebumps” run all over me 🙂 … seems to me that often the very close similarity skips a generation, or two, and goes “sideways… if you know what I mean {chuckle} …

  5. I know exactly what you mean. My partner’s aunt gave us three CDs of family photos and I’ve been looking at my mother in law and her siblings as children, and seeing the newest members of the family in them.

  6. Pingback: Treasures from the past | Shaking the tree

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