Your Daughter Doesn’t Look A Thing Like you.

1505988_10202817546432993_6044707446005583676_nOne of the comments that bothers me most is “Your daughter look nothing like you”. When I was pregnant, I was always waiting for my next ultrasound. I remember my first one, there was nothing but the yolk sac yet. I was so anxious for my next visit. I could not wait until she started to take on the form of a baby. I was excited & relieved on that next visit when I saw her & got to hear her heart beat. I envisioned what she would look like. Would she take on some of my Asian features? Would she get her daddy’s blue eyes? Would she be short like her grandmas or tall like her grandpas? I could not wait to meet her.


I have to admit that in my mind I was about 98% certain that she was going to come out looking exactly like me. I was convinced. It only seemed fair right? I was the one who had to carry her for nine months & endure morning sickness, cramps, carpal tunnel, edema & a treacherous birth, why shouldn’t she look just like me.?

When the big day came & I finally got to see my baby girl for the first time, all I saw was me. I looked at that baby & just knew that she was my own. So it really took me off guard as family and friends visited and said “Wow! She looks like Chris, doesn’t she?” She does? Awwwww crap!

As she grew it was apparent that she definitely took on some of her father’s features. She had his fair skin, eye shape and color, his signature dimple and long torso and she certainly did not get her strawberry blond hair from me, but still I saw me in there. Some agreed that there was a mix, but mostly they saw daddy’s girl. I had people say “She looks nothing like you, huh? Ha, ha, ha.” Not ha ha ha, boo hoo hoo.

One day at a museum during a particularly disturbing meltdown, I was trying to carry my daughter out while she kicked & screamed. She began to scream, “Doooon’t take me, don’t take me!” I saw all eyes on me & I couldn’t help thinking that someone was going to call the police on me. “Hey, there is an Asian lady abducting a cute little blond girl. Get here quick.!” Don’t worry folks, nothing to see here. She is my daughter.

I know that it really does not matter one way or another whether she looks like me or my husband the only things that matters is that she is a happy, healthy little girl that spreads her sunshine and joy everywhere she goes, but when I look her in dimply, blue eyed face, I see a mirror image of me. I have stared, watched her play & laugh for hours on end. I see me in her creativity & her stubborn nature. I see my nose in the center of her face. As much as her physical attributes are her fathers, from that first look I knew she was my girl. So though you might not see it, I do, so don’t burst my bubble.


A First For A Father & Daughter

0171There are many memorable events over the course of one’s life. From the time that you are born you are creating memories. As an infant the memories you create are more for your parents then for yourself; the first time you roll over, your first laugh, those first steps & your first word. As you get older those firsts continue to be important; the first time you ride a bike, your first crush, your first kiss & even the difficult firsts like the first time you get your heart broken. Today was a first for my daughter and my husband. It was the first time that either of them went to the circus. Alright, alright, I realize that this is not a major milestone, but it was certainly a most memorable day for our whole family. We arrived to the circus early. We were greeted by clowns and a music played by a glockenspiel before walking into the building.

Mai gives attitude to the sad clown hobo.

Inside Mai’s face lit up with delight at the sight of balloons, glow sticks and elephant rides. I was nervous that with all of these distractions that we would never keep her in her seat, but we settled into our seats and she happily snacked on popcorn and waited for the show to begin.   0291   0401 Over the course of the next 2 1/2 hours, we were entertained and awed by acrobats, jugglers, wild animals, plate spinners and daring stunts. Nobody was more awed than I. With my daughter’s short attention span, I went to the circus just being hopeful that she would make it through a half hour of the show. I had visions of running out of the big top with a screaming toddler. This was not the case. She loved every aspect of the show. She laughed at the clowns and oohed and awed over the sparkling ladies on the trapeze. She yelled & cheered at the motorcyclists and clapped for the animals. I spent more time watching the fun she was having and the smiles on her and my husband’s faces than watching the show. 0611 0701 0911 0981 0991 1031 Mai stayed cuddled up on her daddy’s lap. They shared a popcorn and created a first memory of the circus for both of them. But it was not only a first for them, it was one for me as well. It was the first time I went to the circus with my family & I will never forget it. 1131

So Why Can’t I Tell My Daughter That She Is Beautiful?

pretty_.jpgFrom the day that my daughter was born, I was smitten. I would just stare at her for hours in disbelief. I couldn’t believe that this beautiful little girl was mine. I look at that sweet face and tell her, “Mai, you are so beautiful.” It seems like such a natural thing to say. So what is so wrong with muttering this phrase to her?


I have read article after article telling me not to do this. The experts will tell you that this is setting your daughters up for a life time of body image problems and that it would put too much emphasis on physical appearance. It is said that instead you should place a focus on their accomplishments. Of course I acknowledge her accomplishments as well. I praise her for new lessons that she’s learned, pictures that she has drawn or for listening when told to do something. She is complimented on many things, but if we are praising our children for being smart or funny wouldn’t the same principles apply? Are we then creating an issue with them putting undue pressure on themselves to be the smartest because we told them that they were smart instead?


It seems that there are less and less things that are safe to say or do these days when it comes to our children. Everybody is judging you. I cannot tell my daughter that she is pretty, I am not supposed to say the word “No”, you shouldn’t spank, you should not yell. Aren’t all of these things setting our children up for something even worse? What will happen when they get older? They will hear the word no at some point in their lives, whether it is from a university, a potential employer or a rejection from a love interest. How will they handle these things when they were treated with kid gloves their whole lives?


I am not a psychologist, I don’t have all the answers, but I am a woman and once was a little girl. I was raised by a woman who told me that I was pretty every day. It did not damage me or leave me believing that the only thing that is important is my outer appearance. I was spanked. That did not leave me with violent tendencies or take any love away from my mother. I was told “no” because it was what I needed to hear.


My daughter is smart. She is imaginative. She is artistic. She is funny. And while she has several attributes that result in her being a pretty girl, with her big heart, humor and vivacious personality, the truth is she is beautiful and I am going to tell her that.