"He looks just like his father," the man said, smiling at F.
I guess it's a part of our vanity as parents that we long to hear how much our child looks like us, and depending on who you ask, F either looks just like me or just like the sperm donor (which, for the record, is what I choose to call my ex since he doesn't deserve the D or the F word, unless the D word is douchebag or deadbeat and the F word we're talking about is fucktard - but I digress). I always flutter a bit of pride and happiness when I hear how much he looks like me - lucky kid, right? - but for once I didn't feel a pang of anger when this strange, kind man exclaimed how much F looks like his Dad.
Because this man thought Red was F's Dad. I don't think you could have smacked the smile off of Red's face.
It's funny how people see similarities in the appearances of others. I'm told all the time how much I look like the Carmichaels, and my brother is "the spitting image of his grandfather, Allister" but the truth is that I'm no more related to the Royal Baby than I am to the Carmichaels or the MacInnis clan. Which brings me to thinking, how lucky would the Royal Baby be to look like me? I'm kidding, you guys.
But, I can see how people would say I look like my Mom (the Petersons), or my Carmichael cousins and I can even see how one might liken my brother's thin frame and small face to my late-Papa. I can also see how it might lie in our mannerisms, the way we laugh, the way I tell stories the exact same way every other MacInnis does... with a lot of wind and hopefully a beer or two.
I spent a lot of time believing that family meant something very different than what it does - a surprising thing, given my own family. I believed firmly that F needed his biological dad. Maybe because I didn't have mine. Maybe not. What I've learned is that family is what you make of it. Pets become your children and friends become your sisters and brothers. You love people, and that is what family is.