When I was young I had a vivid imagination.  I still do, but it got me into so much trouble when I was young that I never thought I’d be happy about it as an adult.  For example.  Once when I was in girl scouts in the second grade, they had a haunted house in the school auditorium.  They turned out the lights in the kitchen, and one of the mothers would lead groups of us through.  There were bowls and we would put our hands in them and be told that we were feeling eyeballs and snakes and worms and I started screaming and shrieking and had to be led out of there.

But wait, there’s more.  So this mom had them turn on all the lights, and she led me through by myself and showed me the bowls.  The eyeballs were just peeled grapes.  The worms were cold spaghetti in a bowl.  Ha ha!  Brave with the lights on, I was all jazzed about going back through the haunted house again.  I knew all the secrets!  You can’t scare me!  So they turned off all the lights and I tried again.  I got to the bowl of grapes and though I told myself they were just grapes, I kept thinking that what if they WERE just grapes, but then they exchanged THAT bowl for the REAL bowl of eyeballs they had in the back just for me?! 

I began screaming and shrieking again, but this time I got a whole lot less sympathy.  …Not one of my finest moments.  Why am I mentioning this?  Because this past Halloween we took our youngest kids to a haunted house here in town and they started screaming and shrieking and had to be led out of there by a woman dressed as a good witch.  None of the other kids that were around us reacted like this, and my husband was so embarrassed.  But I understood.  The only thing is, I never knew this kind of thing could be inherited!

When I started thinking about it, it seemed to me that a lot of things seem to be hereditory.  The first year my daughter played soccer she stood there in the middle of the field and didn’t move.  The ball came near her and she didn’t run after it, didn’t try to kick it.  Kids were screaming at her and she was like a statue.  That’s exactly the way I played soccer!

When my son played baseball he was the kid who was in the backfield picking buttercups and twirling in circles gazing up at the sky while he missed balls that came right near him and had to be yelled at to come in when it was time to bat.  Me.  He was also the kid who was told that to get an A in a class he had to do 7 assignments, a B 5, and a C, 3.  So he decided to go for the C because it was still passing, and it was much less work.  Soooo me!

I knew my children would inherit things like my curly hair.  Eye color.  Build and temperment.  But I had no idea that they would inherit my short-comings.  My laziness.  My fears.  Watching these things manifest themselves in a new generation has been tough to watch.  I want to scream at them to not make the same mistakes I made!  Do the 7 assignments and go for the A!  Chase the ball down!  Pay attention!  Conquer your fears!  And sometimes I do say those things, but they listen just about as well as I did at their age.

Genetics aren’t all bad though.  When I see my daughter racing around, I remember being the fastest girl in my class and I know she got it from me.  When I hear them sing, or befriend the outcast in the class, or willingly spend an afternoon drawing, I think me, me, ME and I am proud.

They got their intelligence, thier fiery natures and their character from their dad, so it’s always nice when I see something NICE coming through that I can trace to my side of the family.  My side seems to be much more of a mixed bag rather than an outright blessing.

I look forward to grandkids.  I look forward to a brilliant little grandchild who plucks buttercups from the outfield and weaves daisy chains for me to wear as a necklace. 

…Third times the charm, right?

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