Having a kid is amazing. I keep forgetting to be mindful of this as Miss G gets older. A few months ago, the two of us were sitting together at the dinner table and she was holding something and I said, surprised, "You have my hands!"
"I know!" she said, wiggling her fingers.
I never noticed before. They were just chubby kid hands for years, but now that she's shooting up and slimming out, I can see the bone structure. They're mine, all right. I think that brings the total of my genetic contribution to 3 items: she has my eye color, and my stubborn chin. Most of her is straight from her dad, both in looks and personality.
But as much as she is like her dad, there is a sizable chunk of Miss G that is unique to her, and not from either parent. It's a funny mix of tough-as-nails and fiercely gentle. The other night, she cleaned out the fridge and organized it. A couple years ago, she woke me up one morning with an envelope chock full of 3x5 cards with explicit, step-by-step instructions on how to spend my morning. She's a relentless micro-manager: of her friends, our family pets, and of her mother, in equal measure. She always wants to stay home from school and nurse me if I'm sick.
This is the part of Miss G that I find most intriguing, because it's such a mystery. It's also what defines her more than any other quality, and we don't know where it came from, or how she learned to be this way. Whenever people give me compliments about her, I always deflect them, saying, "She doesn't get that from me. It's all her." "Oh, but you raised her!" Nope. I don't take credit for raising her well, either. She's been a grownup since birth; she was pretty much born "raised," with a few nudges from me here and there along the way. I give her the freedom to be herself, and every day since her birth has been sitting back and watching her Self emerge. One long miracle.