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Monday, May 7, 2012

Family Genes


It=s funny how we can see our parents in our grandchildren. Looking at a photo of my granddaughter whom I see infrequently because she lives in Oregon, I am struck by how her mouth and chin identically resembles her father=s. He, in turn, received the lower part of his face from my father. It started me thinking about family likenesses and differences. I was destined to be short because both my parents had to stretch to attain a height taller than five feet, three inches.
I remember noting a niece=s body movements as we strolled the Mall one time, how much her walk resembled the way my father walked. It was a low, swinging-from-the-hips kind of walk. My contacts with my father=s siblings were few. Of those I have met in my father=s family of three brothers and three sisters, all shared the same small physical frame and high-energy personality.
My husband=s parents brought together a blending of English and German heritage. It revealed itself in the children by a brother and sister bearing the dark hair and brown eyes of their father. My husband, on the other hand, displays the light coloring and piercing blue eyes from his mother=s side of the family. My husband brought a gene for tallness into our family mix. Both of our sons have reached and topped the six-foot mark. However, the oldest inherited the energized, always-on-the-move behavior pattern of my father, while my younger son moves through life in the slow, deliberate manner of my mother-in-law=s family.
Although certain traits and mannerisms bring remembrances of someone from a past generation, I quickly acknowledge I am seeing only a suggestion of that older person in the one I=m observing. I smile at the resemblance, that reminder of another. The remembered image is displaced quickly because  the niece B the son B the granddaughter, each is a unique individual, unlike any who has come before. Each a person has hopes and dreams that are all their own.

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