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Monday, September 12, 2011

Spittin' Image- No saliva required

This is my brand new niece. She's what they call a "good baby". Rarely cries. Nearly sleeps through the night already. Coos while she sucks down her bottle. I've never been able to understand how people can see the face of an adult in a newborn baby. Big bald (or fuzzy) head, pudgy cheeks, squinty eyes, toothless. How can these features translate into an adult (unless we're talking geriatric)? 

Nonetheless, I hear the common Southern expression all the time: "S/he's the spittin' image of her mama/daddy." Now, you may be picturing a mini-replica of the baby's parents doing some rude expectorating. That doesn't exactly sound like a compliment, does it? While in fact, the Southern phrase has been muddled over the years. Originally, it went, "S/he is the spirit and image of [insert relative]," which is a much sweeter sentiment.

So, some say that my niece is the "spirit and image" of my sister, or her dad. All I know is that she is all fresh and sweetness and light, and whenever anyone says it, they should beam with pride. 

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