Feed on

Kissin’ Cousins

Yesterday, Simon had his first kiss, and, befitting his station as a Kentuckian, it came from a cousin. A second cousin once removed to be precise, so hardly scandalous. It happened at my Uncle Sam and Aunt Marcia’s house, where the greater Goldstein clan gathered for swimming, horseshoes, croquet, and a cookout.

My first cousin Connie was in town, along with her daughter Cara and Cara’s daughter Gabriella. Gabriella is 16 months old, the family member closest to Simon in age. Connie convinced her to give Simon a little kiss. He seemed to enjoy it, so we had her kiss him again. Another big smile–that Simon, he likes the ladies, and he likes ’em young. We got three or four kisses before it was over, and Simon clearly enjoyed the attention.

And that is exactly where this budding romance will end, for Cara is very observant in a Sabbath-observing, sheitel-wearing kind of way, and I… well, I am not. So while the age gap between Simon and Gabriella is small, the cultural one is vast.

Which brings me to another observation that’s been brewing for quite some time. My son–whom I carried for 40 weeks, who’s entire body developed within mine, and whom I fed from my own body exclusively for six months–looks nothing like a Goldstein.

There is a certain Goldstein look–olive-ish skin, dark hair, heavy lidded and slightly slanted eyes–that I, my brother Steve, and all the Goldstein cousins have. It’s a very Jewish look. My cousins’ kids Aaron, Karma, Anya, Hanna, Chava, Bram, Moss, Isabella, and Miriam, all look very much like Goldsteins.

Then there is little Simon. He’s got my dimples, but those come from my mom. And he may have my mouth, but that’s not really part of the core Goldstein look. For the most part, he seems right now to be a good mix of Ropke (my mother-in-law’s family) and Whitworth. I can see Evie in his face shape, I can see Matt in his expressions, and I can see Jim in his nose. I find little of me or my Dad anywhere.

Maybe it’s fitting that Simon doesn’t bear the name Goldstein. Maybe once I decided to not give my last name as part of Simon’s, the universe took it as a sign that he need not resemble me, either. He’s cute, so I can live with that. I’m just amazed that something I created visibly bears so little of my DNA.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.