I find it alternately fascinating and humiliating, this journey through little genetic clues and riddles.

A little nail biting here, belly button fingering there.

I watch our girls, searching their faces for some sign of me. I observe Briar when she’s working at something, the way she sticks her tongue to one side of her mouth and chews on it. It’s a Barnes trait they tell me. Skipping two generations, it is her great grandfather’s dna.

I delight in the way Avery scrunches up her nose, sending waves of wrinkles from chin to forehead. We have no idea where it comes from, perhaps it’s wholely her, something that her great grandson will do. I love her dimples and the undeniable strength of her long body. I find each physical milestone intoxicating as the tomboy emerges stronger and bolder.

I know that a good deal of Briar’s infuriating stubbornness comes from me. I also know that her loving side, her need to make sure that all the kids in the room have a toy is something that she gets from me. Both girls are wild about music and books.

They like boys. A lot. I’m pretty sure that comes from me too. Hehehe

Lately I have seen something else, something that is clearly Sean’s. I mentioned it the other night in a not entirely complementary way. I was teasing. Sometimes I don’t do a very good job of saying things. I meant to say that I envied him this quality, that I was grateful that we fell in love and made this wonderful family. I celebrate the exquisite compostion of his characeteristics and mine, come to life in these two girls. Today, I’ll say clearly, I think this particular trait Briar has received from Sean is a good thing, in him, and in her.

I’ll forgo giving it a name as it might come off as unintentionally critical. Behold the work of my designer husband’s daughter: