Family traits, or lack thereof

Do you ever wonder what makes a person who they are? Is it just that little spark of the Divine that keeps your soul attached to your body that gives you everything you need to be who you are? Or, are you the sum of your parts? In this case, your parts would be the genetic traits you get from your family.

What gets me thinking about this is that I was just chatting with Favorite Aunty my Dad’s sister. Today is her birthday. As I was chatting with her on Facebook, I was looking at her picture, and realized how much she reminds me of  my Great Aunty. Favorite Aunty not only has a similar build to my Great Aunty, but she has a lot of the same “out-goingness” that Great Aunty had…very much a social butterfly. At the same time, she has all the physical and verbal mannerisms of her mother, my Grandma. It reminded me how I have seen my reflection in the windows at work and there’s something about the way I walk, and just the way I carry myself, that reminds me of Great Aunty. I just wish I had the same out-going personality! Somehow I can never say the right thing at the right time, and the witty comebacks never come to me until hours later. Oh well, Something I did get from Great Aunty (and Grandma too) is a love of cooking for family gatherings…something I wish I had more opportunity to do. I just don’t try to get my guests to stuff more in than they can hold!

I get a big kick out of watching my youngest son and my Dad together. They look like two peas in a pod, only my son is taller. He got the random tall gene which skipped my Dad and me, but landed on my brother and #2 son. My youngest has many of the same verbal and physical mannerisms of my brother too, which is strange as he takes after my mother’s brother in looks, but he has a lot of his dad’s personality. My #1 son takes after his father in looks, but he’s more like me in personality. Sometimes my brother also reminds me of my Grandfather, the way his words come out…it’s uncanny.

It’s so intriguing to me that we all carry around with the most complicated and detailed genetic soup, almost as though we had stolen pieces out of our ancestors’ genetic puzzles and combined them into our own picture. I’m eternally amazed at how children display their parent’s traits in new and interesting ways. I have to ask myself…if I were able to go back far enough into all the branches of my family tree, would I ever find someone just like me?

So, having said all of that, the thing I find myself asking next is what is it about who we are that attracts others? It’s easy enough to figure out what about someone is repellent to us, but I think that the non-physical things that we find attractive us are less easy to put a finger on. Sure people can be labeled as “fun”, or “outgoing” or a million other descriptors. There’s something else though…something not quite as tangible.

Let’s take for instance the man I married, and ultimately divorced. He is nothing like anyone else I ever dated, or crushed on, in looks or tendency. He’s nothing like my Dad, who is handy and can fix anything. He’s nothing like my brother who has a strong sense of loyalty, family and community. The truth is that I didn’t realize he didn’t have any of these valuable personality traits until it was too late. Seventeen years later, he cheated on me with this woman who kicked him to the curb 30 years ago…his “one true love”. (His words, not mine…Puleeeze! pardon me while I gag up my breakfast…) What is it about me that he thought would fill that hole that she supposedly left? I have no idea, I just know that what is fundamentally valuable to me in a husband was never present in the man I chose to spend the rest of my life with. So what was it about him that caused me to not look harder at his personality before I married him? What intangible thing overrode the truth? I have no idea, but I do know that what he did to me and our kids wasn’t heinous enough to completely override it. I still sometimes dream about him. What is it? I don’t believe it is love, because I wasn’t real happy in my married life before he cheated on me…Gods knows I’ll be better off in the long run.

So…What the hell is it?! Who knows. It’s probably something he inherited from one of his ancestors that spoke to something I inherited from one of mine.


About Sparrow
I am a 49 years young and the mother of two amazing young men, who've grown up and left me an Empty-Nester. I write about what's going on in my little corner of the High Plains, or what happens to be crawling across my brain on a given day. Thank you so much for stopping by. Make yourself at home...through the magic of the internet, the coffee's always free and the doughnuts are fresh!

One Response to Family traits, or lack thereof

  1. breaaire says:

    Pheromones? Genetics? Soooooooul mates? *shrugging* As I look back at the disasters in dating in my past, it really does make you shake your head. And how did I get as lucky as I did this time around?

    Fate? Divine Destiny? Or just plain luck?

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