Everybody into the (gene) pool.

Update! The 2010 photo shoot has been completed…to see the current version of us, click here.

When we vacation on Topsail Island, we join my husband’s family — his two sisters and their families, as well as his parents — and my dad also comes along for the week. All told, we are 17 people sharing one house for 7 days. We’ve been doing this for 6 years now; year after year after year of great memories. There are 8 cousins who spend the week playing (squabbling) together, and 9 adults who spend the week playing (not squabbling) together too.

I’m struck, year after year, at the variety of all us. There are blondes, brunettes, a redhead, freckles, sunburns, tans, tall, very tall, short, petite, rail-thin and not, twins, athletes and not. There are several generations on hand as evidence of the variety, and yet somehow all of us resemble someone else. Just look:

Neat, huh?

I used to think that I was my family’s genetic anomoly — it was a role I was used to. I grew up as a red head in a family of brunettes — although my sibs and parents also had blue eyes, no one was a red head. I stood out in a crowd (I still do, mostly). It’s not something that I particularly enjoyed as a child growing up — this standing out by virtue of my hair color. As I’ve matured and become more comfortable in my skin, it’s now something that I can gratefully acknowledge. (Highlights? A colorist? I have no idea what you all talk about with your 3-process processes, foils, etc. etc. etc.) And now my daughter C has usurped the title from me — but not because of her hair color. Because of her eye color.

C has two different colored eyes. Her left eye is blue — a true bright blue — and her right eye is mostly brown, with a small bit of blue thrown in. To get ready to write this, I yahoo!’ed (recall that Google is dead to me) “blue eyes” and was reminded that the phenomenon is called heterochromia. We noticed her eyes changing color when she was an infant, and was told by our pediatrician to take her to a pediatric ophthamologist to confirm that her eye changes were natural and not the result of a brain tumor or other scary problem. They weren’t  — her eyes just couldn’t decide what color to be. (As her mother, I was resigned to the fact that all my recessive traits — the red hair, the blue eyes — were not destined to be passed on to my children. Daughter #1 was a green-eyed brunette who looked nothing like me.) As she got older, the blue eye got bluer, and the brown eye was clearly brown. So in addition to having the most fabulous hair — it stops traffic, it’s so amazing — she’s got these eyes. Usually what happens is people say to her, “Oh C, I love your hair,” {touch, touch} and then….wait for it…. “{gasp} Oh wow, look at your eyes! How cool is that?!” (And, several years ago, right after saying that to her a guy turned to me and said, “Wow, that’s going to be one awesome way to meet guys in a bar!” Uh, thanks? Because I want to think about that now when she’s 3.)

I hope one day she grows up and appreciates her uniqueness. Certainly it’s what I hope for all my children…but I think she’s going to have to learn it sooner than the others.

This post was prompted by a Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop prompt: “the bluest eye.”
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Mama's Losin' It


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4 Responses to “Everybody into the (gene) pool.”

  1. Figments of a Mom Says:

    Great family portrait! And if that ride which your daughter is on is in Ocean City, my girls were on that too!

    Thanks for stopping by my story – and yes I’ll be at Philly’s bloggy boot camp! See you there!
    Figments of a Mom recently posted..Writers Workshop- It was my turn

  2. Jennifer Says:

    What a great pic! How did you get everyone to smile? Even look in the right direction! You do all look related. Nice post! Thanks for stopping by my place too!

  3. Grace Says:

    Beautiful photos! I really love the one of the grandparents with the sun setting in the background. And the kids’ pic is awesome!
    Grace recently posted..Shutting Mboob’s Piehole

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