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Old 10-05-2013, 03:55 AM   #1
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Default What We Get From Our Parents

Okay, so I really struggled with where to put this as I feel it touches on a lot of areas, from the physical self (body) to idiosyncrasies picked up from our parental units to deep rooted loves of random things and so on. Finally, I looked at it like an equation and in order to solve (or at least remotely understand) an equation, you have to find the root of it. In this case, your parents are the root for you.

So what is it that I am asking for? Literally, what have you gotten from your parents? Did you develop a love for a particular sports team because dad spent nearly a quarter of each year with his face pressed into the TV? Do you see your mother's chin or your father's ears when you look in the mirror? Do you tilt your head the exact same way as mom does when trying to figure something out? Tell me about it!

I'll post mine momentarily.
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Old 10-05-2013, 04:32 AM   #2
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I spent almost a week being deliciously objectified by this community and I'm totally okay with that. Some would think that perhaps I received my tush from the maternal side of the family and you would be WRONG. In fact, it has a name. It's the _____________ butt. My dad gave that to me. I have a naked baby picture of me on my belly and you can totally see that it was already there, from the very beginning.

He also gave me his tree trunk legs (good for kicking people and things, getting down low to push things back or semi-crushing unsuspecting butch's heads/waists/etc) and thick ankles. Thanks, Dad. Those are something I could have done without.

Oh! And his chin dimple. It was better when John Travolta became famous but I'd rather still have a good old fashioned, in your cheek dimple.

Also coming from him is an emotional distance that can be difficult for partners to cross. He has been married to my stepmom for decades now and they have what is, to them, a happy and healthy relationship. But they live in separate homes on the same street. Lots of folks think that is weird and I did as well when I was growing up but now I think it's brilliant. His space, her space and they still do for one another (he cuts her grass and fixes things and she makes dinner and makes sure he doesn't leave either house with mismatched socks). There are some Daddy issues related to that emotional unavailability too, although as time has gone on (and maybe his morality catching up with him), he's tried to bridge that gap between us.

I've always thought that I resembled my mother more, both physically and emotionally. Both parents had brown eyes and hair but my hair is squirrely and thick like my mom's was. I have her almond-shaped eyes, horrible eyesight included. Actually, I was whammied with that one. Both parents have bad eyesight. I had glasses at a year old. Let's just say, I went through maaaaannnnny pairs before I figured out that they are actually beneficial for me to keep on my face and out of the bushes, toilet, the dog's bowl or garbage disposal.

I have her build from the waist up. Slender shoulders, stubby fingers, weak chin and little ears. One thing that I really and truly wanted from mom, I did not get, and I think that I should be able to petition someone somewhere about that.

My mother had beautiful breasts. Full and heavy, they were round globes of freckled flesh that swung effortlessly from side to side with minimal bounce. Her nips were always perky too but that had to do with the shot they gave her to stop her milk flow, she said. I, apparently, got my father's breasts.



But they work the way they are supposed to, so I can't complain there. I just remember watching my mother dress for work in the mornings and having discussions about the changes that my body will undergo eventually and the one thing I was totally stoked about was growing breasts just like hers.

My mother was paranoid schizophrenic and I thank the high Heavens that I did not get that from her. She was such a good soul and was very rarely violent but that condition tore her, me and our family apart. I wound up in the system because of it and both she and I became victims of it and the fallout from it. In the scheme of things, I think that trumps breasts, especially since I can buy new boobies but can't buy a new brain.

I got her sense of humor. My God, that woman was funny. Get her off her mind-sucking meds and she was a quick one. I think my inquisitive nature came from her as well. We operate it differently, but I think that our core is identical.

We're both writers. Not professionally, but both of us had/have the tendency to write bits here and there and keep it all, because we might use it down the road and both of us felt that we expressed ourselves better on paper than in person.

Mom had a thing with playing with her hands, like she didn't know what to do with them. I think I feel that too and sometimes mimic her hand gestures when I'm feeling out of sorts or uncomfortable.

My mother passed down insecurities as well. She taught me a hard love that would be labeled child abuse now and that's one of the top 5 reasons I never procreated. I was afraid that I wasn't strong enough to break that cycle. She showed me, step by step, how to pick the wrong partners and how to alienate and reject the better ones. She showed me weakness and fear and judgement and, for the longest time, I emulated that. That's a difficult cycle to break as well, but I'm still trying.

Not all things received were good and not all things received were bad. They just are and sometimes, it's about how you spin it.

So, what about you?
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:47 PM   #3
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i once thought that i was exactly like my daddy. at times, now, i'm not so sure. he is no longer on the planet earth in a walking-around human form. i miss him. i hope somehow he knows that. i'm not one to believe that folks in heaven know what is happening on earth.

he couldn't say i love you with ease, and because of that, i can. as a kid, i wore his boots. i wore his cowboy hats. i liked the sweat in his hats. anything of his that was cool, i wore. old spice cologne. he was a mechanic. i love to smell grease. i like to think that i can fix things because of him. i would sit in his work truck with my hand on the steering wheel just like he did. i love tools because of him. i would eat breakfast with him and watch his every move. i still eat grits like he did (daddy broke his biscuit into pieces and put in the grits. he ate all together. lots of butter too). i would look at his hands and arms to see if mine were just like his. i wanted to be just like him.

his blue eyes and his heart. both a giving heart and heart disease. i look a lot like him.

i had put so much pressure on myself to be perfect. to be a hard worker like him. to just do everything "right". after he died, i broke down. 22 years old, and the panic attacks started. so was it good that i wanted to be so much like him? hmmmm.

now momma is a total opposite from daddy. my hands are like hers. i have her titties LOL. her athletic ability. her green thumb. i can grow all things pretty. love it! i wish that i had her talent for music. she can play any string instrument, the harmonica, and the piano. plays by ear. so surely my creativity is from her. surely.

i love them both. daddy loved me. he just couldn't express himself. momma is affectionate. now, as i've gotten older. i think i'm more like her than i've ever realized. but too, i've changed.
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:01 PM   #4
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Gemme, what a lovely thread. Thank you.

I think I am a lovely amalgam of both my parents. And now that they are both gone I love seeing them in me, more and more every year. (This was not so much the case in my twenties, LOL.)

Those that have met me in person know that I work a room, I am a flirt, I love to compliment, and can be a bit mischievous. This is ALLLLLL my father. The letch, and I say that with love.

Then there's the side of me that likes to be alone and in my head. That doesn't have many very close friends. That doesn't really know/bond with my neighbors. Kinda the recluse. This is completely my mother.

Even my spirituality is picking-and-choosing of my father's agnostic/druid/AA to my mother's devote Roman Catholicism.

My son looks like me, I look like my mother, and she looks like her mother. We could never deny one another. And I know exactly how I will look as I age, and I am good with that. But I have my father's hazel eyes and the ability to *twinkle*. My poor son inherited my Dad's ears. It's why you'll probably never see The Boy with short hair.

I have~~~
My mother's hands.
My father's wanderlust.
My father's voracious sexual appetite.
My mother's love of shopping.
My mother's quiet confidence in herself and her self worth. (My mother roared when women had NO voice.)
My father's addiction prone personality.
Both parent's temper/anger/rage.
My mother's Spanish and her voice so I've been told.


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Old 10-05-2013, 07:01 PM   #5
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I look walk and act like my Dad I have his blue eyes and like him took quite a while to find the right one. we are serial monogamists, he has been married 5 times and to the last his true love for 30 years. oh yeah he is also a retired police officer he is kind and true honest and generous I hope I have those quality's to .. from my mother I get my coloring the Scandinavian blood I guess and the thick German thighs not much else I never knew her well and really can not even picture her now. when I smile folks always say i am a image of my dad only smaller. they both of my parents are/were over 6ft all of my brothers are over 6 ft as well
I am kind of a study of nature vs nurture as many of the personality traits come from my nanny who took care of me from a month old and they taught me love and caring that I was not disposable and their son Jack taught me how to treat a lady my Daddy Jack taught me my love for football and my Dad when he came back into my life after my my mom died strengthened that
my daughter has very Germanic features an so she resembles my family it make the ex nutz lol but for Goose she loves that she looks like me and like Grandpa. Goose is also sweet kind and a good citizen and now as I watch her grow I see part me part her other mother and now part desd I love watching her grow
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:12 PM   #6
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Hey. I find this a very interesting thread topic. I have held true to the belief that I get a lot of who I am from my mother. I know I get some from my father but I really only knew very little of him, as he left our family when I was 3yo and returned briefly when I was 12yo.

From my father I am certain that I get my calm soft-spoken (for the most part) nature from him. My fair skin and light-colored hair... I will give him that credit too... but that's about all. Mom... she over-rides his calm soft-spoken nature with the loud stern voice. I have that too. When I need to. Like when a child claims I have yelled at them. "Stop yelling at me." My response is always "Oh, you don't want me to YELL at you!" My craftiness and imagination come from mom too. I can create so much with scrap material. I envision something and find scraps and thrown away items that turn into masterpieces. I hand-made, from said items, my kids Halloween costumes for several years when money was tight. Which leads too my frugalness. Yeh, mom gave me that too. I can stretch a penny till good ol' Abe is squeezing his ass cheeks to hold his shit together. Balance a checkbook to that Abe Lincoln penny... oh hell yeh. I pride myself on that one! Thanks mom!!

Blind faith in "my" higher power - It's taken me some time to figure this one out but I give this credit to my mom as well. She has always held to her belief and faith. I do now too - to my own. In that way she has definitely led by example. And there's that... to lead by example. To do unto others as you would have them do unto you. To walk away instead of causing hurt. To take a punch and stand back up only to laugh in their face - literally and figuratively. To dream big and give thanks.

I attribute so very much of who I am to my mother. She worked hard to do her best in our eyes... and she did it just fine. At least I think so. There are some things she's done that I would not do and have chosen to do differently. THIS I can only hope "my" children have gotten from me - To be their own person!

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Old 10-05-2013, 07:47 PM   #7
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This is a great thread!

My mother was a short, plumpish, reddish brown-haired woman built in the bust like the stereotypical German beer hall girl. I got everything but the bust. I think I wrote here once that I got my hair colored a little redder, and was shocked at how much I resembled my mother. Unfortunately, I also inherited the tendency towards heart trouble in later years from her.

If my outsides were all my mother, my insides are all my father! This caused no end of confusion between me and Mom, and it wasn't until later in our lives that we accepted one another.

My dad was very introverted, and a real nerd (said with great affection). There was not one subject he didn't want to learn more about, even shrunken heads of the Amazon . Through him, came my love for art, music and theatre, not to mention science. I often thought he would have been a tremendous teacher, better than my brothers and I (and we all are or were teachers), but he never did that.

What's most interesting to me is how traits in my family "skipped" a generation. My daughter is Miss Outgoing,like my mother, always wanting to be on the move and with people surrounding her. My mom loved to shop, but my daughter, given free reign, would win the Shopping Olympics. She has the same dry sense of humor and ability to out-talk anyone. How my mother would have loved this granddaughter!

I don't know where she got her looks, though. Neither I nor my parents, nor anyone on her dad's side is a tall, blue-eyed blonde. Maybe some generation even farther back. That can happen sometimes; my own brother is a tall redhead, but my dad's family had some very red Scots in it .

My son looks like my father, and is more like me, inside. He loves music and books and while he has friends, prefers to stay by himself a great deal. He has the same love of science and the same curiosity as my father and me. Those two would have gotten on like a house on fire. I could see them reading together or visiting a museum, like I did with my dad.

The challenge of course is to love and appreciate my daughter for who she is, no matter how different from me she might be. I don't want the same pattern to repeat itself.
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:50 PM   #8
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I have brown eyes like my Mom. I remember back in 85, at my Grandma's funeral, a friend of the family took my chin in her hands and said, you have eyes just like your Daddy. Confused I said, Daddy has blue eyes. She said, honey it's not the color it's how you look out of them. ummm ok?

For many years I had my Dad's temper, then I learned to control it, until I just can't anymore. Then I'm stupid.

I learned patience, and compassion from Mom, and how to be thrifty.

I got my love of nature, hunting and fishing from Dad.

I got my thick head of hair from Mom. She has always said that as I age it will thin out some, but that hasn't happened.

I've picked up some bad habits from them as well but we won't discuss them at this time
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:57 PM   #9
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Things I got from my father:

(1) spells "night": n-i-t-e. Sometimes I do this.

(2) very autistic-like about details. He will leave a message that says, "This is your father [insert name]. Like we discussed, I will meet you at 5:45 at the restaurant, Trattoria, located on 29 East 99th St. The reservation will be under the name "X." X, Y, and Z will be there. Please call me back to confirm." Then I call and leave the same message. I have his style this way. I'm all about the details. it's good for planning but also drives BB crazy at how compulsive it is.

(3) leaves the last word off sentences when speaking. my brother and i both do this and call each other on

(4) hard time just relaxing, always needing to be occupied

(5) silly sense of humor

Things I got from my mom:

(1) the career of social work and all that social work is about for me

Gosh, I'm struggling with coming up with much for my mom. I think what I named for her, though, is a significant factor in my life.
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:04 PM   #10
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Great idea for a thread Gemme

As to the answers, well here ya go:

My physical traits come solely from my father. I am the spitting image of him in that arena (even got his big feet and long-fingered hands).

My personality traits are honestly a mix of my mother and her parents. My mom is one who has this weird way of just instinctively knowing things, and I definitely got that from her. My gramma is one who has a HUGE heart and will do anything for anyone but you screw her over, and she is DONE as that she has a ZERO tolerance for bullshit...and I have developed that trait as well. My papa was very crafty, he did leather work, lapidary work, wood-carving/woodwork and a whole myriad of other things, so I definitely got my creative/artistic streak from him.


I think that is about it.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:47 PM   #11
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On my father side , His family is part Irish so , I have some musical talents and I have the no bullshyt zone also as in I don't but up with much and on my Mother side she is part Native American Indian , she has creative art, and understanding the nature spirit of people she was a quiet woman so was my grand mother but they also didn't put up with b/s either. so I guess thats it.
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:34 AM   #12
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I get an immersive appreciation of nature from both parents.

From my dad, I get a sort of meditative quality of consciousness and an acceptance of things and people as they are.

From my mom, I get my stubborn and fiery nature, though it's tempered by what I get from my dad.

They are both good writers, which I like to think I got from both of them.

They are both very artistic - a quality that I don't necessarily share.

I have my mom's sentimental attachment to objects and my dad's tendency to keep things deconstructed and squalid.

From my dad I received a love of the broken, from my mom I received a love for forgotten things.
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:28 AM   #13
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I get my ugly feet from my Dad. Our toes look like they have all 10 been broken.

My Dad's family was very affectionate, Mom's family was sort of touch me nots. So I guess I get my readily affectionate side from my Dad. I'm a touch person.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:39 AM   #14
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I got my Dad's toes. They are sausage toes and i could climb a tree and not use my hands.

Also from Dad...
his sense of humor
his height (lucky me ugg)
his Type A personality and blood type
his bluntness (sorry bout that)
the red tint in my strawberry blond hair
his need to excel in life
his need to be overly insured
his work ethic
his tremors (gee thanks Dad)

From my beautiful mom...
her kindness, gentleness (or at least i hope)
her motherly way of loving those around her
her need to take care of people
her blondness in my strawberry blond hair
her dry sense of humor
her humility
her love of life and assurance that everything will be alright
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:48 AM   #15
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My father was short, dark, and too damn handsome for his own good. He had a cleft in his chin and a sense of entitlement. My mother is tall, long legged, with dimples and hazel eyes that look mostly green to me. She has a martyr complex along with an overly nurtured sense of faithfulness and a rather bizarre ideology developed around the ďyou made your bed now you must lie in it philosophy.Ē Her response to all of lifeís pitfalls and conundrums are the direct result of ill-conceived religious notions. My dadís ways of dealing were also centered on pleasing god, only in his religion he was the deity. They were truly a match made in heaven or perhaps some place warmer.

I have my motherís hazel eyes although mine are more changeable. I have my fatherís cleft chin although on me it is less pronounced, but Iím told I look like him. And since my motherís favorite sentence when addressing me as a child, after ďlittle girls donít do thatĒ was ďyouíre just like your father,Ē I imagine the similarities were beyond just the physical.

My father had a rather dark vision (although he wouldnít see it that way) and his expectations of human beings were quite low. People canít help being who they are he would say. But he wasnít being judgmental; he believed he was spouting a universal reality not a negative trait to be judged. He taught me love was selfish but still a wonderful thing to give. We give love to get love. We act in ways that are good and kind because we need to be accepted by others. He believed everything we do we do for selfish reasons. He taught me this wasnít a good thing or a bad thing, it just was. Altruism does not exist. Not true altruism. We do for others because we want something in return. Whether it is recognition, eternal salvation, to make us feel good about ourselves or some other reason, we are incapable of leaving ourselves out of the equation. We act in ways that are socially acceptable not because we are those things but because we want to be accepted and not shunned by society. And this is perfectly fine and nothing to feel guilty about. Conversely it is also perfectly fine to act in ways that go against the societal grain so to speak. Just expect resistance. I donít know if this was information a kid really needed to have, but he did teach me critical thinking at a young age.

Iím not sure who I ended up being the most like, I guess I have some of both my parents in me. My father was a most interesting and very intelligent person and certainly had the most dynamic personality in my family. I looked up to him and wanted to emulate him. I learned to think around corners and not to be judgmental from my father. I also learned to fish, hunt, shoot a gun and a bow, throw a baseball, and box from him. He treated me like a person, not like a boy or a girl. He let me do the things that I enjoyed doing and did not feel it necessary to push me in socially acceptable directions. He had his demons thatís for sure. He struggled with a bipolar disorder as well as drug addiction and led a tormented existence at times. He could be challenging as a human being and as a parent. But he loved me and did the best he could and given the choice I wouldnít have wanted any other dad. From him I learned to be me and not give a damn what anyone else thought about that.

As I have gotten older, I have been able to move past my motherís rigidity and religiously induced judgmental outlook and see that she gave me more than I imagined. She had her own demons as well and was not able to do the loving mother thing when I was a child. But she has grown. I think my kindness and compassion comes from her. My ability to put myself in the place of others and imagine what that must feel like comes from her. She never would have wanted one queer kid never mind two but she never turned her back on me or mine. She is devoutly religious but she doesnít preach to me. She just loves me. I am not the child she hoped for but she doesnít allow that to stop her from showing me love. It's easy to show love when someone is exactly who you wished they would be. Itís a little more difficult when they are nothing you hoped for and your love is tempered by disappointment and confusion. If I could learn to do that even half as well as my mother then I would have accomplished something impressive.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:13 AM   #16
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I think this is a fascinating topic particularly when viewed through the lens of nature versus nurture.

It's one I've thought a lot about in recent years, especially since discovering my biological father is someone other than who I thought.

I don't know what I've "gotten" from my biological father genetically ... but I can guess, from what little I know, that there is some genetic predisposition for wanderlust that we share. Both of our families have settled and remained in the same region for generations, but both he and I have been expatriates and chosen not to settle in our home region. He seems to be a clever man (to a point) but I'm hoping I've not inherited his propensity for felonious crimes. Perhaps I just use my powers for good.

This past year I was able to locate an obituary for my biological paternal grandmother, and seeing her photo was like a sneak peak of Sparkle-at-80years old. We have very similar faces - shape of face, cheekbones, forehead, eyes, nose, chin - the similarities are remarkable. It made me smile and she aged quite well (hoorah!), and she was wearing a stylish plaid tam in her photo (see also: genetic love of fine millinery).

This topic is also interesting to me because my maternal grandparents were heavily involved in raising me and because of that I tend to attribute characteristics or proclivities to my grandparents.

But things I know my mother has 'given me':

Her laugh and the tone and timbre of her voice. I was at a wedding a month ago and one of my mother's coworkers was a guest, I didn't know who her colleague was, but she was able to identify me as being my mother's daughter by my laugh, which she said was identical.

Similarly, on more than a few occasions, I've said something and in a moment of clarity "heard my mother". You know that startling and often horrifying experience where you think "OHMYGODI'VEBECOMEMYMOTHER" - those are often 'learning moments' for me and have helped me to change some my patterns of behavior (for the better).

From my mother and my maternal grandfather I have been given a distinct sense of joi de vivre, a cheekiness and charm that is often effective and infectious. I'm grateful that I have it, life is hard, having an innate source of positivity to draw from has helped me through some tough stuff.

Also from my mother (and grandmother and great grandmother) I've inherited my 5' nothin" stature and proportionally (ridiculously) small hands and feet. My mother and I also share our unique eye colour, in a family dominated by blue-eyed people.

My mother also nurtured in me a love for art and literature, both of which continue to influence and enrich my life.

From my maternal grandmother I've inherited her cheek bones and her ample bosom (a physical trait that skipped my mother). We share the same sense of personal responsibility (and urgency) around caring for and ensuring the safety and well being of our family. This is undoubtedly a result of familial circumstances, birth order and gender socialization; but it is a very distinct trait we both have that other family members do not have. And the trait has manifested itself in deep bonds with our family members and in generalized anxiety for both of us.

My grandmother also instilled in me a love of shoes, hats and handbags and all things sparkly. And she shared with me her abiding love of music, despite the fact that she lived her whole life with significant to hearing loss, she was always moved by music.
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:29 AM   #17
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I've been told that I look exactly like my father's mother and in many ways, I feel that it's true: I inherited my recessive traits (blue eyes, curly hair, height, body, dental structure) from my father's side of the family.

But amazingly, I've also been told, over the years, that my voice sounds just like my mothers - and it does, to a certain degree, I think.

Primarily, I think I am probably more like my mother, in many ways. She's a thinker, she's got this unnameable intutitive and instinctual process by which she bases a good deal of her decisions on, and she gets uber quiet when she's either having troubles coming to a good decision or when she's up to something she doesn't exactly want the whole world to know about or she's about to do something totally unexpected and super sweet. She's also got this brainchild quality about her that has always set her apart from her peers/friends/coworkers. When she was earning her nursing degree, when I was a young girl (probably around the age of 7 or 8), I used to stay up late at night and help her with her math (algebra) homework. Not that I was some math genius, but because I had this way of discovering answers to complicated math problems, that even today, I don't know how I do it. I love math, by the way. My mother was the musician and vocalist, in our family. She loved the arts, music, works of literature, and anything of cultural value related to her indiginous roots. My mother had the best taste in clothes -- so much so, that even where we grew up rurally, she found ways to get what she desired: She hired my grandmother and her best friend (a seamstress) to make all our clothes and consequently, I learned quite a lot from my grandmother (my mom's mother) about fabrics and which fabric was the best to use, durability issues, fashion issues, stuff like that.

So I'd say that between the two of my parents, I probably am more like my mother, even though I don't look like her.

I also credit my work ethic to my mother's work ethic: We pretty much match each other on that front and also where it concerns learning styles, too.

I will say that is was both of my parents love of nature that inspired me to care about nature, but I care about nature differently than my parents. Both of my parents were avid hunters. I was never enchanted by hunting for game, like they were. But I loved the forest, rivers, lakes and the ocean, the wild flowers, the birds and animals, which were native to the forest where I grew up, and that's the extent of the kind of 'hunting' that I like.

If anything, I think the one skill that I definately inherited from my mother was her 'eagle eye' - how she zeros in on things that are of utmost concern to her. I think I have that same trait as my mother. She has always claimed that she inherited that trait from her mother (my grandmother) and I can't help but agree with her - even though my grandmother was terribly quiet, it seemed that nothing ever escaped her direct or indirect attention.
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Old 02-24-2019, 10:53 AM   #18
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From my bio mom I got brown eyes and dark brown hair
Ive been told I could be her twin
Her attitude LOL

From my adoptive parents

mom- the skill to cook

dad- love of music

I am my own person, I am the heathen child, I learned things the hard way so I didn't get much from my folks because I didn't pay attention till later in life.
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