Friday, November 19, 2010

Legacies

I often think about my parents' legacies - not things like money or possessions but physical attributes and medical issues. I seem to have inherited the worst of both!

All the years when I was growing up and through most of my adult life I assumed I had all my father's physical attributes: very wide feet that wouldn't fit in most shoes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thick, unshapely legs - the list is endless. However, in the past few years I've discovered my mother's genes are equally strong. I'm now dealing with her bad feet (structural problems abound and pain is a constant companion) and her gastric reflux (she lived with the Tums by her bed and now I'm being treated for my constant stomach problems). All of which brings me to something I used to think about when I was having my own children: wouldn't it be nice of we could choose the things our children would inherit from their parents, like going through a menu and checking off the choices?

When I was pregnant with my first child I wanted her to have her father's sense of humor, his body type, and his hair. From me I thought maybe my eyes, my teeth (he needed braces but I never did) and my hands. There were many things I did NOT wish upon her, but fortunately I suppose, we cannot choose and she came out with a nice combination of both of us, good and bad, and she's perfect just the way she is. No doubt if we could choose we'd totally screw up the next generation and rather than the perfect beings we'd want to produce they'd end up looking weird.

But isn't it a nice idea anyway? Sorry Mom, but I'm just not enjoying your feet. Your smile, however, I'm happy to have!

4 comments:

Ben said...

It's an amusing thought. Scary in a way too because of what they are doing in the world of genetics today.

Amanda said...

The irony is, I do have Dad's hair; some of his sense of humor (i think); and underneath the low metabolism - lol - lies a body that is quite similar to my father. Soooo....you may have gotten it right! :)) I so know what you mean though about wishing our children could get the best qualities of each of us - but the bottom line is (as you said) they are perfect to us just the way they are!

Amanda said...

The irony is, I do have Dad's hair; some of his sense of humor (i think); and underneath the low metabolism - lol - lies a body that is quite similar to my father. Soooo....you may have gotten it right! :)) I so know what you mean though about wishing our children could get the best qualities of each of us - but the bottom line is (as you said) they are perfect to us just the way they are!

Kathleen said...

My mother tells me that I "got it all" in terms of talent, from everyone in the family. I did have quite a bunch of talented folks and have followed some of their ways. Regarding physical things, I got my Dad's wavy hair,his eyes, his sense of humor, my mother's bone structure and determination. It's exciting to me to see children develop and watch to see just whose attributes they display. Though I'd like to exchange a few things if I could, I think the natural shake up of genes is far more beneficial than choosing what we think we'd like to have.