If you intermarry and have kids, it is never safe to make assumptions or predictions about what physical traits your bi-racial child will inherit from each parent. In my case, I thought Baby would have deep brown skin, and inherit a lot of other dominant, prominent black features. When I saw her first sonogram photos, especially the one where she seemed to already have my grandmother’s serious jowls, I was convinced she would look like me.
Well, guess what? Most of the time, people draw similarities between Baby and Hubby. It is understandable: Hubby is her father. She got her paternal grandmother’s overbite, which is very cute, and most of Hubby’s facial features, from the small set eyes to the perky nose. She is very tall for her age, which she gets from both our families, as we both have tall parents and tall siblings. Also, she inherited a very light complexion from Hubby. Indeed, she is honey colored, and when the two of them are out together it is obvious that her mother is not white. But when Baby and I are together, the difference in our complexions sometimes strikes me as dramatic. What she got from mommy, was the frame of her face, which explains the jowls from Mississy (a lot of Jamaican kids call their grandmothers that). Her forehead, cheeks, dimples, chin, and the thoughtful, downward curve of her mouth all came from me. And all that thick, jet black hair!
I came across “Is That Your Child?!!” recently, a terrific weekly podcast for women of color with mixed kids. Take a listen. I think in this episode, host Michelle McCrary talks directly about the issue with Monique Fields, a writer, blogger under the moniker Honeysmoke, and a mom whose two girls emerged with lovely—yet unexpected—features.