04 February, 2011

Talent: Genetic or Byproduct

As many of you may already know, I was adopted as a baby. I grew up in a very loving home and understood that i was adopted from a very young age - and that it didn't make me less of a person.

My mother ("mother" as i refer to her, is my adopted mom... but i hate to call her that) was an exceedingly talented individual. She could sew, paint, draw, knit, crochet, camp, hunt, cook... and that's just the tip of the iceberg. I daresay, had i been given the opportunity to get to know her as an adult, i would have discovered even more amazing things about her.

She taught me almost all the things i know how to do. I can cook, clean, paint, sew, crochet, camp, hunt... all because i grew up learning these things from her.

I did not grow up in a relationship with my biological family. I knew they were out there, and i knew i wanted to meet them someday when the time was right. When i was little, my parents scheduled a play date with my biological grandparents and all my aunts and uncles and cousins. I don't think i knew that they were who they were at the time...
When i was 17, i went to visit my biological family and ended up staying in Alaska for my senior year of high school so i could get to know them. What a wonderful opportunity. I grew so very close to my grandparents, and met a cousin who almost became my sister (not in a Deliverance way... she was up for adoption too and my parents wanted another couple who weren't able to have babies have the opportunity to raise a child together), and several other beautiful, wonderful family members.
Truthfully, i do care for my biological mom very much, but i became very close to my biological grandmother
(From here on out, i'll be referring to her as my Grandmother or just Gramma... i really don't like that word "biological"...).

They say that genetic traits can skip generations, and often do. While i look strikingly like my biological mother, my gramma and i share common interests and ideas. I believe our personalities are very much alike. Sometimes i think we even look alike in some ways. Boy... if i look like her when i'm her age, i will count myself lucky! Not that she's old...

Anyhow - the point is, i didn't know my biological family until i was in my late teens, having grown up in my regular household learning all these cool skills and traits - then i find my grandmother and discover how talented she is too! A gifted photographer, a sharp businesswoman, a mother of 9 (!), a talented quilter and knitter... a loving, amazing woman. Very much like my mom - even though they're from two completely different backgrounds.

I was just reminded today how much talent the matrons of my special little family have when i pulled out these wonderful little cardigans. My mother made them all. Two were given to me, and two were given away and returned to me once our friends' little ones grew out of them:

Funny that little knitted cardigans that my mom made for my future kids remind me of my grandmother, isn't it? I don't think so. To me they each hold a significant part of my heart.

So, knowing my mother and grandmother being so separate and yet, so talented - makes me wonder - is talent genetic or a byproduct of a certain way of life? I guess i'll never know, and truthfully, i'm happy to think that it's both :)


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