Special Things and Unspecial Things

Tonight’s topic is based on this probably apocryphal conversation:
Isadora Duncan to Anatole France: Imagine a child with my beauty and your brains!
Anatole France to Isadora Duncan: Yes, but imagine a child with
my beauty and your brains!

I think it’s a truism that if you want to know what you love about your spouse, imagine what features of theirs you hope your children inherit. If you want to know what you hate about yourself, imagine what features of yours you hope your children don’t inherit.

Since we already have kids, I spend a lot of my time watching them and going: lucky, lucky, lucky, push, damn sorry about that, and well, it could be worse.

Luckily for the girls they inherited most of She Who Must Be Obeyed’s face. Especially important is they actually have lips, which is something I was pretty much denied which makes me look pensive even when I’m not, um, pensed. They both did, more or less, inherit a version of my nose, but that could be worse. They also inherited my creased eyelids which will save them a lot of make up and/or plastic surgery in the future.

The push is that they both seem to have inherited my height. Our oldest is already taller than her mother and the youngest is getting closer and closer. The oldest has big feet, which makes this a push. Being tall is a mixed blessing in Japan, especially when you try to buy shoes.

Unfortunately our oldest inherited my oily skin and the youngest at least some of my allergies. The odds are more or less against their hair. She Who Must Be Obeyed’s hair went completely white at a young age and white hair runs in my family. Mine waited a while, but is getting there slowly. My Dad’s hair was completely white by the time he was my age.

They both have good eyesight, which comes from me, but have inherited She Who Must Be Obeyed’s inner ear disturbance which makes it difficult for them to hear and understand the male voice.

Our oldest has inherited my propensity for putting off until tomorrow what is due the day after tomorrow. She’s already pulled her first almost-all-nighter and is, as I write this, finishing up the homework she had all summer to finish. (It’s 11:45 Japan time.) The youngest inherited She Who Must Be Obeyed’s work ethic, mostly. She likes to help out, but mainly on her own terms and she distracts easily, which she got from both of her parents.

Our oldest has a well developed back-talking skill, which she got from me, and she frustrates easily, which she also got from me. These are things of mine I really wish she hadn’t inherited.

Our youngest has a remarkable ability to make a small mess into a big mess when she doesn’t want to clean something. She didn’t get that from me as my skill is stretching a small five minute project into a seven day project, which means she must have got that from She Who Must Be Obeyed.

They are both much more aggressive about getting out and making friends than I am. They aren’t exactly extroverts, but they seem to enjoy people. They also aren’t easy to push around. I’m glad they inherited all that from She Who Must Be Obeyed. What they would have got from me wouldn’t have been as helpful to them.

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