All in the Family

How much do genes affect who we become in life? I think they play a big part.

My husband and my oldest in early 1992.

Growing up, I was more of a daddy’s girl than a mamma’s girl. I loved my mother very much, but I liked to hang out with my dad. He took me fishing and to work with him and we had garage sales and worked in the yard together. I loved listening to his ‘stories and philosophy’ and his approval was important to me. Of course I spent a lot of time with my mom because she was a stay home mom until I was a teenager, and she taught me to cook and took me places. My mom was steady, predictable, and safe and I knew she would always be there when I needed her. My dad was a little more interesting.

But as an adult, I basically replicated my mom’s life, except for the going to work part. I had a lot of kids, fulfilled the roles of a traditional wife, and am very good at putting other people’s needs first. I also married a man very much like my dad. As I got older, my mom and I got closer and we often had the same ideas even before we talked to each other. In other words, we think a lot alike. We do have some differences, but we understand each other very well. She always did understand me, even before I did! But the thing I find fascinating is that even though my mom was born in 1942, she loves technology and computers and SO DO I.

My mom went to travel agent school in 1981 when few people had personal computers. Computers were expensive and mostly used by businesses for actual work, not surfing and scrolling social media. When she first started the class, trying to understand the very non-user friendly computer system was like learning Russian or Chinese. There was no GUI, it was all code! She really struggled and, despite her very positive attitude, she was worried that she might not be able to grasp the language. But one day it clicked! And she became a top of the line agent who worked until she was 81. She just quit her job last month. She was also an early adopter of all new tech gadgets. She bought me a Compaq computer when I first got married, then gave my kids videos games and herself iPads and laptops. Another similarity I have with her is I love to travel and have adventures.

I have never had a paid job using a computer like my mom, but I have always enjoyed messing around with different programs. When something went wrong, I fixed it. I used to love the old DOS command line prompt! And I have had some fun tinkering with computers , adding hard drives and memory and such. I probably spent too much time sitting at my keyboard when I should have been cleaning house. My point is that I think my interest in computers is a genetic thing. But I also have my dad’s genes and he loved learning and reading and thinking, which is why I blog and make podcasts and talk about deep subjects like God and economics. And I have always dreamed of having my own business. But, like my dad, I love animals and nature and outdoor activities whereas my mom is more of a city girl who likes things to be clean.

Even more amazing to me is that my sons have taken up interests and jobs in the same fields as their relatives despite never having met my grandparents and not really knowing my dad very well because he died young. My dad was a grocery man and a salesman. My oldest son has been in the grocery business for 12 years and son #3 is also in the business and seems to like it. My second son is basically a mechanical engineer just like my husband and my grandfather on my mom’s side and my brother and my uncle on my dad’s side. My dad’s dad was also a machinist. So there is a whole lot of mechanical DNA in my family line. My fourth son is also mechanical, but I also see business aptitudes in him and he’s very smart about marketing. I am still not sure what direction my youngest will go in, but for now he works in a grocery store.

My kids got good genes from both sides. My husband’s parents were older than mine when he was born because he is the youngest of six. My father-in-law was an electronics technician who worked on radios in WW2. He was also an early computer user and built his own computer using a TV as a monitor. He also had a digital camera before anyone I knew and loved printing out photos. He worked hard to support the family. My mother-in-law was very smart, but never worked outside the home other than being in the Women’s Air Corp in WW2. She raised six successful kids. She was thrifty, creative and loved gardening, crafts, cooking, and reading. She also had a great sense of humor and personality.

As far as other interests, my husband plays guitar and his siblings are very creative, unlike me. Well, even though we never pushed any of them, three of my sons play guitar! And one of them plays multiple instruments AND uses a computer to produce music. Then I have one son who is very philosophical and a deep thinker, and another who enjoys reading good books. Two of them really took to motorcycles like my husband. I’m not bragging when I say that my kids are smart. I think they come by it honestly. I do not think these things are a coincidence. Genetics play a big role in our interests. But even more important, I believe that God has a plan for each of them. My hope is that they will use their talents for his glory.

2 comments

  1. Honestly, one of my favorite things about our children, is seeing who they become and what they are interested in doing. We do our best to encourage their interests and work hard NOT to tell them that something they are interested in is “impractical”. (I heard this a lot growing up, working on it in myself and working hard to do the opposite, lol) I just think it’s so amazing to see what they naturally want to do and the talents and aptitudes that they each have and then tracing it back to see where it came from. So very interesting and fun! It sounds like your sons all inherited some wonderful talents! 🙂 God Bless!

    • I agree, it’s so fun to watch them learn and grow! And their interests can change on a dime, so I think it’s good to just let them explore and not to hinder them. That’s the great part about being young! Have a great day ! Blessings!

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