General Question

Nimis's avatar

Do you think you would be able to recognize your own child?

Asked by Nimis (13199points) April 24th, 2009

There seems to be a lot of situations in movies and television,
where the child travels back in time and encounters their parent(s).
(ie Back to The Future, Lost, etc.)

If you were the parent, do you think you would
be able to recognize your child (as an adult)?

Instant recognition or perhaps just a good head scratching?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

19 Answers

RedPowerLady's avatar

Yes I think I would. Or at least I’d have an odd feeling about it all and keep asking questions where I know them from. I would be interested in hearing from someone who thinks they wouldn’t recognize them.

oratio's avatar

I would know instantly that he looks like my son. I wouldn’t think it was him though, since I wouldn’t believe it could be.

Jack79's avatar

my daughter looks so much like me that I’m pretty sure I could spot her in a crowd, whatever age.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, yes, I feel sure I would know him. How often do we see an actor in a film, made long before or long after a role in which we’re familiar with them, and know—either slowly or all at once—that it is the same person? How often do we suddenly see in our own children a glimpse of our brother, our grandfather, our aunt? That kind of recognition goes deeper than reason or sheer physical resemblance. It can be something as subtle and yet certain as the way they cast a glance upward or the way their mouth reopens after closing on a final consonant; it registers as a match for a deep pattern, and we have them. It’s almost uncanny.

But—as oratio says—if someone came to my door right now and I knew in my gut that it were my son at, say, age 52 (30 years from now), I would have to have a way to reconcile the impossible. I would probably not think that he had traveled through time. It would be easier to believe that I had suffered a mental lapse or had been in a coma for 30 years. —So, not that he had left the future but that I had lost the past.

Nimis's avatar

@oratio Yes, I think that’s what makes this question interesting for me.
I’m guessing that most parents have a strong connection to their children.
But it is enough to overcome logic and suspend disbelief?

Jack79's avatar

@Jeruba so your son is 22? But wasn’t he 2 just a couple of weeks ago? ;)

Jeruba's avatar

Indeed he was. And in my heart he still is.

RedPowerLady's avatar

But it is enough to overcome logic and suspend disbelief?

I suppose since I believe in possibilities beyond logical science as part of my culture and spiritual beliefs it would be a bit easier for me , than for some, to suspend this belief. I’m not sure I would even question it right away. To me I’d feel like “so this is my son, what does he need?”. Then “what the heck?”. LOL

Jeruba's avatar

(Especially since he would say “Hi, Mum” [first son] or “Hi, Ma” [second son] in a completely characteristic and unmistakable way. I would respond to that in the same way that I was programmed to respond to the least little sound in the middle of the night, instinctively and with my full being before any thought entered in.)

SuperMouse's avatar

I’m fairly certain I wuld recognize any of my kids. I also think I would know the smell, they each have a very unique smell that only a mom would notice.

cookieman's avatar

I’m pretty sure I would be able to recognize my daughter.

we went to a wedding last weekend and there was a woman there who easily could have been my daughter as an adult. It was quite spooky. I found myself staring at her unintentionally.

casheroo's avatar

Well, I don’t think it’s plausible in Back to the Future…they’ve never seen their children, so they have no clue what they’d look like..

But, in a movie like Deep End of the Ocean…heck yeah! If someone kidnapped my son, and years later I saw’d be instantaneous.
My son is not even 2, but he has a very distinct deep sounding voice (for a young child) and looking at him is like looking at my baby pictures when it comes to the shape of his face. He has his father’s nose, my grandfather’s ears, and he resembles my brother and father as well. I see little bits of everyone in him.
Even without the ears (definitely his trade is different than the other) I’d still know. I don’t see how that’s illogical at all.

casheroo's avatar

lol I just saw the “birth marks are cheating” tag. are my son’s ears cheating?? hehe

FrontierSurvival's avatar

I think I would recognize my older children, the kids that are over say 3 or so. But if they where still babies, say under 2 or 3 then to see them as adults I’m not sure I would. Some kids don’t look at all like they did as babies. My second son doesn’t even look one bit like when he was 2. He looks a lot like his Uncle now. So if I did see him at that time I probably would have thought he was a relative I didn’t know.

Nimis's avatar

@Jeruba I think I’d be inclined to think the same. Mental lapse
or coma seems more plausible than time travel. But my heart would probably disagree.

@RedPowerLady I love that your response would be What the heck?

@SuperMouse Awww…their smell. Perhaps even more distinct than other features.

@cprevite A distant relative perhaps? At a wedding, that wouldn’t be too far of a stretch.

@casheroo Oh, yes! There’s a scenario where you wouldn’t necessarily need
to suspend your disbelief. But I’d imagine you’d be constantly looking for your child.
In which case, you start getting into Changeling territory.

cookieman's avatar

@Nimis: I would have thought that too, except we adopted my daughter from China

Nimis's avatar

@cprevite Oh yeah! How did I forget that? [smacks forehead]

Urban's avatar

Well, yeah. I would just look for the ridiculously handsome/beautiful kid duh =p.

Although I think there is some other kind of connection that lets people recognize their offspring. In back to the future though, the child has not yet been born so I’m guessing that’s why the mother doesn’t recognize him. How could you recognize something you’ve never seen. Physical similarities can often go unnoticed eh?

Nimis's avatar

@Urban Yes, I wonder if the connection goes beyond some kind of age-progression thing.
Is it possible to recognize a yet-unborn child? Or is the recognition merely physical?

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