You look just like…

I’ve written before about what people see when they look into a child’s face. If that child is related to them, they are hoping to find a part of themselves there.

I had kind of given up on the fact that while my kids may resemble me, they do not look Japanese. Sure, they have some features that could be described as Japanese (mostly their eye shape, and Baby Boy’s olive complexion), but it is the few and far between person that looks at my children – or me, for that matter – and sees Japanese blood. Since I’m only half, and the kids are a quarter, I don’t take it too personally that the average person just sees a middle-class white woman with cute kids.

However, I love screwing with surveys and saying that I’m Asian. Hee hee.

Last week, I took Obachan grocery shopping (no, she didn’t run off with a kid this time). We were at a local farmers market (Yakima Fruit Market, for those of you in the area), and I had just gotten out of the minivan with Baby Boy on my hip and the Munchkin holding my hand, when a woman who had parked right next to us got out of her car and let out a squeal.

“Oh, your little girl looks just like my granddaughter!” she exclaimed in delight.

Obachan and I stopped as the lady took a good look at the Munchkin. “She does look just like her! My granddaughter’s half Norwegian and half Japanese,” she said to me.

I grinned as Obachan held her head up higher and the Munchkin smiled for the lady. “Well, this is her great-grandma,” I said, indicating Obachan, “and I’m half Japanese, and she’s a quarter Japanese. And this is her little brother,” I said as I turned my hip to give her a good look at Baby Boy.

“Oh, you look like my grandson,” she said, pinching Baby Boy’s chubby cheek. “But I can’t get over just how much she looks like my little granddaughter,” she said, staring fondly at the Munchkin.

We went our separate ways shopping after that. The lady’s day had clearly been made by seeing my kids, who reminded her so strongly of her own grandchildren.

She made my day, too, because another eye saw what I see all the time. Maybe it’s not just wishful thinking, if a total stranger can see the Japanese in them, too.

3 Responses to “You look just like…”

  1. Little Cousin's Mommy
    August 2nd, 2006 07:07

    This isn’t so odd, remember a doctor that Mom used to work next door to whose Caucasian wife had a half Chinese daughter “Jane” (from a first marriage)? Our mom and her mom thought we looked alike. A few years later at summer camp, I met a friend of Jane’s who asked if I knew her, because I looked “just like her.”

    As for my kid, Oddball insists that she looks just like me. I see many similarities to our youngest sister (Auntie), but also to the Munchkin! Oddball and I were looking at pictures of the Munchkin at the age Little Cousin is now, they look like they could be sisters! Little Cousin has more hair and a more oval face (from Daddy), but expressions, mannerisms, the chatty “social butterfly-ness” and the eyes (shape and color) are the big similarities.

    It will be interesting to watch the similarities as they get older.

  2. MetroDad
    August 2nd, 2006 08:34

    Funny, Deanna. I have a friend who is half-Japanese and therefore (obviously) has a 1/4 Japanese child. Whenever someone asks him what part of his daughter is Japanese, he usually just smiles and replies, “The good part!”

  3. L.
    August 2nd, 2006 13:19

    Hi — I`m catching up after my 3 weeks away.

    It`s funny how we can sometimes see what others often miss, isn`t it?

    But it goes the other way, too — there was a little girl in my kids` school in Tokyo who was so white-blonde and blue-eyed that she could have been Swedish, and it turned out that one of her grandmothers was Japanese. I would never have guessed, even with my finely tuned eye (wait – block that mixed metaphor…)