What’s Bred In The Bone

Since Monday I have received more than a dozen phone calls and at least twice as many texts from Daughter detailing her observations of her cats’ behaviors and interactions.  She is a really good observer of minute interactions,  and she  tells me about them in great detail. She has applied interventions for improving the acceptance of the kitten by the older cat based on her observations.  Our son is equally good at this. Husband and I do it for a living.  I think this is really weird.

There must be some genetic thing going on here. Two psychologists, a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, and  Social Worker in one family?  I wish I knew what gene it was. The “Keen Observer” gene? The “I Can’t Abide Family Discord” gene? The “Human Behavior is Fascinating ” gene?  The “I’m Just Nosy” gene?

How are you similar and dissimilar to your family members? What runs in your family?


41 thoughts on “What’s Bred In The Bone”

  1. NOt much I guess other than Mom, Dad, Bro, and SIs all played musical instruments and were in school band. So we all like music due to our parents playing music on the radio/stereo around the house and exposing us kids to classical, Broadway musicals, jazz, flamenco, marching band music, etc.

    Other than that we’re not much alike.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 3 people

    1. High arches as part of small feet run in my dad’s side. That characteristic seems to be paired with emotional sensitivity, weeping easily, and flashes of intuition, all of which I have, as did my dad and several cousins. Someday, when they map out these genetic clusters, I want to understand how these characteristics pair up. Then there are the bad right knees.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Ugh. Dad and my daughter have bunions. I have foot issues too but some of them result from my childhood accident so hard to know how much to blame dad. at least I don’t have bunions!

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Robin just commented that the chipmunks were rampant this year. I immediately went to the heraldic sense of the word, where they would be standing on their hind legs with their front paws poised for a fight. I wonder what flat feet rampant would look like?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. You and I must be related, Bill, for we share the tendency to hear earlier meanings in terms that have evolved in ways that modern speakers don’t appreciate. You hear something in “rampant” that few people hear. I’m sensitive to words or phrases related to firearms (“going off half-cocked”). My sister once exulted in striking a bunch of young relatives off her Christmas list. She said she had dealt with several kids “with one fell swoop.” She was genuinely horrified when I mentioned that the term originally meant an especially lethal swing of an axe in battle.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hey, Bill, I was on the phone today with a friend who said that fishing in the Willmar area sucks because “the zebra mussels are rampant.” I had trouble with that one. A rampant zebra . . . well, that makes some sense. But a rampant mussel??? Hard to picture.

          Liked by 3 people

  2. My daughters and I all share a similar sense of humor with an especial appreciation for the peculiar, the incongruous, the outlandish and the over-the-top crass. Robin gets it and shares our humor to a great extent but she didn’t grow up around me.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    On both sides of my extended family there is a predominance of farmers, teachers and ministers. The ministers were predominantly circuit riders during the frontier days. As I look back at the family trees, though, jobs like psychotherapist did not even exist when those folks were choosing a way to make a living. I wonder if some of the ministers had the characteristics of psychotherapists. All of them farmed, then adopted other roles

    With my parents and siblings, 3 of the five of us were teachers all or part of our careers. I am one of the “not- teachers.” I don’t think I was well-suited for that particular profession. My personality is more like my dad, who in his very short career was a farmer and a County Extension Agent. Both of us were far more entrepreneurial than those who became teachers.

    We are descended from Puritans, Quakers, Irish, Norwegians, and Germans. As I view my siblings and myself, I favor the Quakers in appearance and mindset. My sister is every inch a Puritan down to her circadian rhythms. She is up at 5am and in bed by 8pm every day. My brother, the freckled redhead, looks and behaves like the Irish line. There is an old picture of my maternal grandmother’s family. One of her uncles and my brother have aged into the same facial features.

    Then there is the quixotic streak of math genius on my mother’s side. I did not get that characteristic. My aunt has it, but as a female, she was not allowed to employ that. Her grand daughter has it and became an electrical engineer who designed the lighting for the Minnesota State Capital remodeling several years ago. One of the boys who has it became an original Google employee who retired wealthy at age 48. Sigh.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. My family is distinguished by the fact we are storytellers and writers. I’m not sure how my father became a storyteller, but he did. My mom picked up a flair for stories from him. I’ve identified as a storyteller for a long time. My sister now writes for the internet. My daughter became a storyteller because she grew up hearing my stories and she used to go to sleep at night playing tapes of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon stories. To nobody’s surprise, my grandson has a flair for telling a story.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. OT – Made my first visit to the Farmers’ Market at Signal Hills this morning. We’re off to a slow start with only one vendor there, and all she had was a few herbs (dill, cilantro, mint, and Thai basil) and several kinds of green onion, fresh lettuces and rhubarb. I’m hoping the tomorrow’s market will have some radishes, and maybe some basil.

    If memory serves, I think today is Steve’s 78th birthday. Happy birthday, Steve.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. That’s a little bit like the messes I find around my apartment. I’ve long lived with others, which allowed me to ignore dirty dishes or other messes because maybe somebody else left ’em there. Now I have no excuse whatever. If something is wrong here, I know who to blame!


  6. Sometimes I feel like I was found on a doorstep; I didn’t inherit much from my efficient, well-organized mother. My sister has all those genes.

    Renee, I think your family has a gene for “tikkun olam”, the Hebrew term that describes an aspiration to act constructively and beneficially in the world. To fix and repair it.

    OT, I lost my nineteen-year-old feline companion, Isabel, today. She had her moments of irascibility – on the occasion of our first meeting, when she was a tiny kitten, she bit me on the nose – but she settled into my household with an air of belonging and contentment. She always felt entitled to the ice cream bowl and the sunniest spot on the bed. She was especially proud of her sock-stealing skills. She was a character.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. So sorry to hear about Isabel’s passing, Linda, but glad her hospice stay was short. Watching a pet die is always painful, glad she didn’t suffer long.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. A friend posted a comment on Facebook a couple of weeks ago that read:
      “White House adviser Kevin Hassett: “Our human capital stock is ready to go back to work.”
      Another friend commented “I like to think of myself as bone broth.”

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I’ve got my mom’s organizational skill. My love of reading and curiosity about stuff is absolutely from my dad. I am not close to either of my sisters; they live in different worlds. One is a conservative religious world and the other a rather manic world (i’m not suggesting she’s bipolar, but when she finds something to be passionate about she flings her self into it with abandon and there’s not much room for the rest of us at that point). Except for the fact that they both look a lot like my mom, I’ve always suspected that they were left on the doorstep.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. I look like dad, and have his temperament, too, though not quite as stubborn. My sister doesn’t look anything like dad or mom or me, so it’s anybody’s guess what happened there. As near as I can tell, I’m not endowed with any special talents or gifts, at least not any that are valued by the powers that be. What can I say? At the age of 77 I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Fortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any danger that I will anytime soon.

          Liked by 3 people

  8. My sister and I both got music genes from my mom, and I may have gotten some help with the organizing from my dad. What I’d like to know is where I got this love for books and knowledge about everything.,, I guess my mom’s dad read some – he was self educated. I do think my love for sweets, esp. chocolate, comes from both grandmas.

    Liked by 2 people

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