Passing down traits

It’s a weird thing to be merging my gene pool with my husband’s. I mean, that’s what we’re doing, right? We are taking a bit of me and a bit of him and merging them into a unique being, Princess Harley. And I am already talking to her when I drive places alone (it’s nice to think that she can maybe hear me, and at least feel my love for her already), and yesterday I was telling her all about some of the cool things that I can’t wait to show her. I’m excited to introduce her to the magic that’s out there in the world, and to see things through her eyes as she discovers everything for the first time.

While there is a ton that nurture can do, there is still the aspect of nature. She will still have her own unique traits that she develops, whether they’re physical or emotional. I’m excited to find out what color eyes she has, and what her hair will be like, and if she’ll end up being taller than Dean or I. I want to know if she has a taste for Indian food or sushi, if she likes to sleep with the lights on or off, and if she ends up as a Trekkie, a Star Wars fan or a Whovian. But there are some other traits that I wonder about, and a recent chat with Dean made me laugh.

People on my father’s side of the family tend of have really big noses. Like, REALLY big. Mine is the most understated version of the nose, but I had to grow into it – it grew when I was about 12 and I spent several years with the rest of my face working to catch up. Thankfully, I can’t find any pictures of it on Facebook, but here it is now that I’ve grown into it. I’m purposely choosing a less than flattering profile view, because ew.

big nose
Ugh, this is why I don’t take pics from this angle

Dean has a much nicer nose, and I’m hoping that Harley gets his nose instead. Then there are the skin issues – Dean had chronic acne as a teen, and I still suffer with psoriasis. I even wrote about some cures for it (and other sensitive skin conditions) for another site. While it’s not the worst thing in the world if those physical things get passed down to her, of course I hope for her to be 100% healthy, with flawless skin and a cute little nose.

There is also the mental health stuff. Both Dean and my family have a bunch of mental health issues that have run throughout the generations. From depression and bipolar to anxiety and anger management, it’s not exactly a great pool of mental health disorders to choose from. I know a lot of that can be helped by ensuring she has a positive upbringing where she learns plenty of coping skills, but it’s still always a worry and something I will definitely be attentive to as she grows up.

Dean and I were chatting about this recently, and I laughed at him. Instead of using it as an opportunity to point out all the traits he loved about me, he was just saying how he hoped our little girl didn’t get this or that from me. He was happily laughing at me, until his mom happened to mention that webbed feet also run in their family. Now we shall see who laughs last.

Really though, however she turns out, she will be my gorgeous little princess. Even with psoriasis, a big nose and webbed feet, she will still be totally perfect in my eyes. At least she should be better at swimming that way, right?

It is such an odd thing, to see how our genes decide to arrange in themselves in the new person we’re creating. It’s all so totally up to chance, and so totally exciting as a result.


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