The number one thing I hear about James is how much he resembles his oldest sister. The number one thing I am asked regarding their resemblance is if it “freaks me out.”
No, it does not (does it freak you out when other siblings resemble each other?!). But it does worry me.
Annabel doesn’t share many physical characteristics with her sister, and that’s a good thing. As a girl, I think that would have been very hard for her to grow up with. Madeline comes up in our day-to-day life in a natural way; she is not the first thing anyone mentions when they see Annabel’s face.
James, on the other hand, brings Madeline to mind immediately. They are alike in both look and temperament, and people can’t help but comment on it. This does not bother us. The resemblance is strong, and to tiptoe around it would be hurtful. Also, James is a baby. He doesn’t understand what any of this means. I’m only concerned with how he’ll feel about all of this when he’s older.
Of course, when James is old enough to understand the comparisons, they likely won’t be coming anymore. We only had Madeline for seventeen months. I really hope that once James goes beyond that mark he doesn’t hear things like, “Well, now you’ll know what Maddie would have looked like.” That would be terribly unfair to him.
I don’t want James to feel burdened by the similarities between him and his oldest sister. I point out that Annabel and Madeline have the same chin, James and Madeline have the same eyelashes, Annabel and Daddy have the same face shape, and so on. Our looks tie us together but are only a tiny part of what makes us who we are. And while sibling comparisons are natural, we try to be very careful with how they are presented.
James is the cutest baby boy I’ve ever seen, and his sisters are the cutest girls. I see them in each other (and that makes me happy), but I mostly just see them as the individual people they are. I hope that as they grow, everyone else does, too.