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I have this habit of finding familiar faces in others. Well, in almost everyone I see. In fact, you show me a face and I’ll find a person to match all of its facial features each. And also, more often than not, its expressions. Walking down a street, I’d be thinking, oh look – this guy looks like someone … yeah, that guy in that movie and the one in the cubicle next to mine. That gal walks like so and so, talks like so and so … and on and on it goes – my constant mental binaries being stashed in my gray chips that come fluttering back when I see another human face!

As far as I know, we humans are one of just a handful of species that can recognize and recall faces. It’s something inherent in us, like a reflex, like an instinct, that distinguishes us from a huge array of living creatures. And it also makes us feel superior to a huge array of living creatures, but that’s a separate discussion altogether.

Coming back to the point of remembering familiar faces, to me it seems that the most familiar face for anyone must be their own. For me it must be this one (insert ‘pointing at myself’ emoticon here). It’s mine after all! The one that I see everyday. And feel and have all the time. 24/7. I think it’s safe to assume that, right? And I also know that I’d get super excited if I’d see someone who looked like me! I personally know a lot of people who do (yes, twins included :P).

So. When my daughter was born a few years ago, I could clearly tell that she didn’t look like me. At all. (Not that I had any such expectations or issues, as, believe it or not, this was clearly evident from an earlier scan that she wouldn’t :P.) She completely looks like her dad. And that makes me happy as I think they’re both very good looking! LOL. See, at least in this aspect she is exactly like me: I look like my dad too :-).

As soon as we sent her baby pictures around (the world, literally), almost always the first comment was (and still is) … ‘Oh! She looks like her dad!’. What fun all our relatives and friends around the world get trying to figure out who a newborn baby looks like! When I say ours, I mean all of ours, including yours. Isn’t it? It’s like we try to dissect the newborns into various familiar faces and features, as if they’re a brand new jigsaw puzzle that we need to solve backwards!

Oh, so it’s not just me, I used to think. A LOT of people seem to have an inherent tendency to break the face down (if you may) and find familiarity in each piece … at least when it comes to kids.

So, anyway, yeah, my daughter looks like her dad. One of my friends even called me a color copier after he saw her first picture! She even had the same hairstyle (same amount of hair and the parting!) when she was born, after all :-). My dear hubby has been constantly told the same (which, by the way, makes him reach out for the top of the world every time he hears it!). It’s been four years and he has gotten ‘your daughter looks exactly like you’ at least 365 x 4 times. Not kidding.

And I just got it a few days ago. For the first time.

It just so happened that last week I picked up a package from my daughter’s school. They had had the kids’ pictures taken a few weeks ago which were now being distributed. The package had quite a few of her most recent photos. And, of course, I shared one of them with my girlfriends. I was getting giddy over the fact that how much older she looked in that photo and how quickly my little baby was now becoming my little lady! And I was expecting comments back on a similar note.

But the first comment back was, ‘Oh! finally she looks a little like you – a mini you!’ What? She does? Really? No! I’ve gone back to look at that picture a gazillion times since. Sometimes trying to match her eyes with mine, sometimes her nose. Or is it the forehead? No, not the forehead, no way. Must be the cheeks. Or, maybe, her smile? No, it’s just the way she’s sitting.

I don’t know. I cannot pinpoint. I, who constantly finds familiar facial features in others, for life’s sake, can’t find one of mine that resembles my daughter’s in her photo where she’s supposed to look like me! Oh well. I’ll take my friends’ word for it! I just cherished the moment for it did give me immense joy as if I’d found another human in this jungle of humans! (even if it was just for that one day or for that one picture, I don’t care!). I would have never thought that it would feel this way. Now that I know, I’m so jealous of my hubby, LOL.

So anyway, needless to say, she hasn’t looked like me again since. In person or in pictures! And by now I wanted her to. In fact, I wanted me to. Dare I say that I was contemplating changing my hairstyle to match hers? Oh well. Yes, I still have phases too :P. But this phase was to end very soon, fortunately.

Yesterday, she brought back home from school a few of her drawings and sketches, as usual. She loves to draw … almost anything. But her first love when it comes to any form of art (for now) is to draw princesses. She would make their pretty little eyes with long eyelashes, lips with lip-gloss, a sleek nose, and of course dimples. Why dimples? Just because she has them too (see, she’s already relating to her own face, the one most familiar to her!). She would draw their long hair (aka, Rapunzel hair), lovely dresses, gorgeous earrings and nice chic shoes. Did I mention – with heels? Not to forget – the princess crown.

So I was skimming through her drawings from yesterday and even though they’re almost always princesses these days, I still get a jolt out of them. They’re cute and funny and cute and funny and cute and ……. where does she get all this from? And then it dawned on me. Maybe from me?

And then I realized that I was just the same at her age! Really, ask my mom. I had the same ‘way’ of doing things. As I’m told, I loved to draw princesses too. Well, it’s not only the sketches and the drawings but also all the way from her eating habits (or the lack thereof) to her interests to her entire personality – or so I’d like to think at least! She might not look like me, but she is actually a mini me (good or bad, time will tell, haha!).

So yeah, she may not have my eyes, or my nose, or my cheeks, or my forehead, or any of that. But she does seem to have a little me hiding somewhere on the inside. And I’m not talking about just the genes (which are literally a little me hiding somewhere on the inside). There’s something more than that. Something intangible. And not. Like a web, like dewdrops, like rain, like clouds, like mist, like breath, like sunshine, like …….

And I can’t seem to pinpoint to that either.

____________________________

The Princess

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