The White Sheep of the Family
Jack may have been born as a Mexican baby, but he has gradually morphed into a little Norwegian boy. The supreme irony is that when Jack was born, he almost looked too dark to be my son. Six months later, it’s the opposite situation.
If you grew up in the late 1980′s and early 1990′s, then by default one of your favorite sitcoms was Full House. And whenever you think of Uncle Jesse, you think of his awesome video for “Forever” where he is wearing a black leather vest while in a bathtub surrounded by candles. Also featured in the music video were Jesse and Rebecca’s twin sons, Nicky and Alex.
For me, I was always distracted by the fact that a dark featured Greek guy and a normal complected woman with reddish brown hair would have sons that had blonde hair, blue eyes, and light skin. I already had enough trouble believing that Danny Tanner would have three daughters with blondish hair when he himself had black hair (Bob Saget is Jewish in real life) with their mother who was also Greek; she was Jesse’s sister. But light featured kids don’t come from dark featured parents, especially when there is a Mediterranean bloodline… I thought to myself for 20 years.
When Jack was born, and in the month or so to follow, he was a Mexican. His skin was darker than mine, his hair was jet black, and his general features just simply looked Hispanic, or at least Italian. That’s because my maternal grandmother, Delores “Lola” Mendez is a dark-featured Mexican from Buffalo, New York and my Italian grandfather, Albert Metallo, was a dark featured Italian from Kenosha, Wisconsin.
In fact, when you climb both sides of the family tree (both my wife’s and mine) you continually find dark haired people with dark eyes. But there is the fact that my wife’s paternal grandfather was a Norwegian orphan adopted by an American family, who married an indentured servant from Ireland. In other words, despite the influx of “dark genes”, Jack evidently adopted the underdog “lighter” genes.
My wife and I have a blonde haired, blue eyed son with porcelain skin. He’s sort of the “white sheep” in the family. And now that he’s officially six months old, the age at which a baby’s eye color remains permanent (based on what I’ve read), we now know it’s official. Granted, I realize there’s a good chance that the older Jack gets, the darker his hair will get. He may not always be blonde, but he will always have lighter skin than his parents who have a subtle olive complexion (skin with yellow and green undertones). And people will always ask us, “Where’d that boy of yours get those pretty, deep blue eyes?”
Knowing me, I’ll probably reference Nicky and Alex from Full House every time I answer that question.
1) The Four Generations of Shell in December 2010; my grandfather Shell is sitting in the middle, holding my son Jack, in between my dad and me.
2) The Four Generations of Metallo/Mendez in January 2011; my grandmother Metallo is sitting in the middle, in between my mom and me.
3) In May 2011, Jack is holding a sign that reads, “I am 6 months old today.”
*To get a better idea of just how different Jack used to look, look on the right side of the screen and click on the archives. Start at November 2010, the month he was born.