Whenever I cook or do housework, I like to listen to soft music, like ballads, or Irish songs by Enya, Maire Brennan or Clannad. When I go for walks I prefer to walk through the forest, or by the sea. Whenever I admire a sunset or a rainbow, or listen to raindrops, which genes are shouting loudest? Did they both enjoy all those things, or did just one of them? I like my food hot and spicy, I got a really raw gallows humour, love watching science-fiction movies as well as action, drama or pirate stories, and I wonder which of them would have liked the same things that I do. How much of my personality comes from Mum, and how much from Dad?
There are things that make me smile on good days, and then there are things that really piss me off on bad days. How I relate to the world around me, how I resonate with it, the way I do things, what I think is beautiful or ugly, the fact that I love animals, flowers, nature, music and baking, how do these things stand up as a mirror image of one parent or the other? Did my mother love to cook and bake? What interests did she have, or hobbies if any? Did my father love to go fishing, as I do? Or work with wood? Why are my interests what they are? They are a part of me, have always been there, more or less.
I’ve been looking into the mirror for more than forty years, and it has always frustrated me that I do not know my story, even the littlest things in life, and I really miss knowing them. Like, do I have my mother’s nose, or my father’s? Whose were the cheeks, eyes, dimples or ears that I inherited? Or who do I blame for my straight hair, when I always wished I had curls? I inherited everything from them, but I’ve never managed to find out what from whom. And it would have been nice to know those things, little as they may be, though everyone else take them for granted. Most people grow up hearing how they got their mother’s eyes, or their father’s height. I can only guess and try to piece together little bits of a big puzzle with no clue, and then decide for myself whether I believe them to be true.
How can I figure out what is heritage, and what I’ve managed to teach myself out of free will? Was either my mother or my father interested in growing herbs? Because that’s one of the things I have planned for my future garden. I would like to think that what I’ve learned is my own doing, but we all carry the genes of our parents. They decide almost everything about our personality, our abilities, the way we think and feel. They decide whether we become one of the brighter bulbs in the box, how well we solve problems and face challenges like stress and all kinds of little everyday problems.
I think about these things once in a while, and they will always remain a mystery to me. Whether I got my father’s temper or my mothers patience, or was it the other way around? I am a very sensitive person. I feel for people and animals who struggle, one way or the other. Did I get that from my parents? I like to think so. I can be stubborn as hell, and I can laugh so hard I lie on the floor until I cant breathe anymore. I can be angry and slam the doors so hard that the house shakes, or so sad that I just sit in the sofa and feel completely paralyzed. So am I a mirror image of both of my parents? Then their personalities would be kaleidoscopes of variation too. If I only knew.