Genes and all that

I had two phone conversations today, one with my cousin Ann, who said we are so much alike in our attitudes that she thinks we must really be sisters separated at birth, and the other from our Auntie, who was talking about how much my youngest daughter looks like me, and how when Corinne was small it was just like having me as a toddler again.

It started me thinking  about where my looks and my nature come from, and wondering how much I have passed down through my children to their children. Certainly when I was younger, I seemed to be quite a mix of my parents. People meeting either one of them would remark “Aren’t you like your Mum/Dad?”, depending on which one I was with. I think it has been a bit like that with some of my children, though not all.

People would say of my eldest son, “He looks just like his father”, and strangely now, he looks a lot like his father’s cousin. When he was younger, however, his little girl would point at a photo of my Dad at the same age, and say “Daddy!” If Lee had grown a moustache, it could have been a photo of him. The thing Lee has inherited from his dad is his work ethic, and his talent for being able to do practical things around the house and on the car.

My eldest daughter looks like her father’s side of the family, in build as well. She is built like her paternal Grandmother. I’m sure she’s grateful not to have inherited my build. But in nature, she’s like my Mum. Is that genetics? Or the result of her great love for my Mum, a wanting to be like her?

My youngest son looks just like his dad, but could not be more dissimilar in his nature…. That he gets from my mother’s side of the family. he’s just like the elder of my two brothers.

My youngest daughter looks like me sometimes, but at other times she looks like her aunt and great aunt on her father’s side. By coincidence, her great aunt was the mother of the cousin who looks like Lee. What she hasn’t inherited from them is her hourglass figure…that is very definitely from me. She’s sensitive and emotional, friendly and open. A very definite mix of both her Dad and me.

It’s a little difficult to tell what my Grandchildren have inherited yet, apart from my beautiful eldest Granddaughter. She is so much like her Mum and her Mum’s family. Physically she resembles her Grandad ….. no bad thing, he’s a handsome chap. But from her Mum and her Grandmother she gets a talent for always looking lovely, hair and makeup perfect. She’s capable and helpful to her Mum, and that’s the only similarity I can see to me. I was the same as a teenager. But I get the impression that’s how her Mum was too, so I probably can’t take credit for that.

All this leads on to my wondering what would I choose from my relatives if I could steal their looks or personality?

For a start I would want my father’s incredible intelligence, and the openness he displayed with his feelings towards the end of his life. I’d like my mum’s beautiful face, her lovely high cheek bones, and her quiet friendliness, and her concern and kindness when her friends were going through tough times.

I’d like my Auntie Marion’s bubbly personality and sense of humour, and my Auntie Jean’s kindness and loving and thoughtful ways.

I inherited my Great Aunt Florrie’s build. I hope I didn’t inherit her fearsome personality, but I’d certainly like to be as practical as she was, and to be able to cook like she did. She was known in the family for always speaking her mind, and I don’t think I do that, but what I remember is the kindness she showed me as a little girl. She gave me my first taste of cleaning for other people, when I stayed with her at the house where she was housekeeper to an elderly man. She told me it was important to clean thoroughly, and reiterated what my Nana used to say “Look after the corners and the middle will look after itself”. She had a hard shell, with a soft centre that she didn’t show to most people, but all in all, she wasn’t a bad person to be compared to

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