The Gene Pool – sink or swim?

After a tweet from @zaana today I was prompted to blog about genetics, or more specifically the genetic traits we inherit from our parents. In fact, in responding the @zaana my quip was about the pedanticism I get from my father, and the big bum I got from my mum.

It fascinates me how traits are handed down. Some are quirky, like the one pointed elf ear that Kid1 shares with her paternal grandfather. Others are less surprising, such as MotH’s male pattern baldness, inherited from his maternal grandfather. In some families, offspring are more the result of cloning one individual than a mix of two.

For myself, I have already listed 2 traits that have been passed on. The pedanticism, also labelled ‘anal’ by MotH, comes I believe directly from my father. I am just lucky that I am nowhere near as compulsive as he – as are those around me. I generally see it as a positive feature, though others may not. The positive side is that I am very methodical and systematic in my thinking, ensuring all is addressed. The down side is that I am not happy with unfinished work (especially by others), and generally do not wish to settle for ‘close enough is good enough’. The big bum thing, however, is not a positive. I have inherited what is termed in the family (maternal side) as a big saddle bag bum. My mother had the same bum. All my aunts have (or had) the same bum, and apparently so did my grandmother. My sister escaped it – which is something I have never forgiven her for.

My slightly asian eyes are Dad’s, while my longish nose and smile are Mum’s. Body shape is totally Mum’s, though facial appearance is more Dad. Colouring is a bit questionable as I’m the only dark haired, dark eyed child in the family. With a blonde, blue-eyed twin sister and a hazel-eyed red haired brother, our mixed colouring is more suggestive of bitzers or mutts than any genetic control.

Where I find this extremely enthralling is in looking at Kid1 and Kid2. Kid1 physically is definitely MotH’s side of the family, particularly his mother’s side and she looks a lot like one of his sisters. Kid2 resembles me more in the shape of the face and the build of the body, but both Kid 1 and Kid2 have MotH’s colouring – dark/ caramel blonde with green eyes. When Kid1 was born I was startled to see this lovely (at that time) blonde blue-eyed babe, as subconsciously I expected a bub with my colouring. Personality wise though, Kid1 has a lot of me in her – some of which is good, some not so. It’s very difficult to see the traits in your child that haunted you or made you vulnerable at a young age. On the up side, I can at least try to guide in the best way to avoid the hurt or at least understand it better.

Kid2 has definite streaks of MotH in her – in her mischievious humour, her skilful avoidance of responsibilities, her ability to self-amuse and her sporting capability. Nevertheless, others say they see both of us in each kid – and as a parent I think it can be difficult to see them clearly.

So, what have you inherited from your parentage? Or what have you passed on to your children?

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3 thoughts on “The Gene Pool – sink or swim?

  1. What a great post! Quite a few of your points resounded with me – the pedanticism from father, particularly, as did the traits you’ve passed on to your eldest that you wish weren’t there, and the feeling that ‘at least you can guide her because you’ve been there yourself’!
    I, also, am surprised by the physical traits of my children – although not just at birth but continually. Being a half-Malay married to a dark eyed and dark haired Aussie, I understand why my eldest and youngest have dark hair and eyes. But my middle child is very blonde with light blue eyes. People have even asked me if my children all have the same father! (To which I reply ‘Yes. Married 15 years. But thanks for calling me a tramp!’ Actually, I just add the last sentence in my head LOL)

  2. LOL – this reminded me that someone asked at my wedding, when all my family (Mum, Dad & 3 siblings) were lined up with me and the groom, whether we had the same father! I was so glad my mother didn’t hear it as she would have been mortified 🙂

  3. It’s so funny what genetics turn up isn’t it!? I look through photos of ancestors to similarities to me, and also for them in my kids. People who’ve met me say my kids look like me, but those that only know Rod think they look like him. My son has elements of my features but his mannerisms and walk are all from his Dad. My daughter is like her paternal grandmother – both Rod and I have noticed this.

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