Margaret Meade did countless studies on Nature vs. Nurture. In today’s world, the “nurture” part, I think, has suffered due to the breakdown of the institutions of marriage and family. I am grateful, however, to have come from a long line of fine people.
If I could have picked out the best qualities, in my own eyes, of those who came before me or were around me as my personality, my character and the sense of who I would turn out to be was being formed, I would have likely chosen the following. Please know that this is an extremely incomplete list, derived strictly from MY memories and feelings, although it’s likely to start a firestorm amongst other family and friends… Please family and friends, feel free to chime in. (I chose not to mention my own siblings as I can’t publish those nouns).
My Mommom’s worldliness, understanding and back-scratching ability;
My Poppop Jack’s faith, perseverance and altruism;
My Poppop Daniel’s spontaneity, lust for life and sense of humor;
My Nanny’s green thumb, etiquette, and ability to finish a crossword;
My father’s persistence, sales ability and silver hair;
My mother’s looks, positive attitude and baking ability;
My Aunt Ticky’s artistic talent;
My Brecker Cousins’ musical talent and passion;
My Uncle Danny’s business acumen, vision and confidence;
My Bernheim Cousins’ fairness, capacity and tenacity;
My Aunt “A”s optimism, goodness and laugh;
My Miller Cousins’ resiliency, inspiration and creativity;
After living with my husband for thirty three years, I have to believe that he came from a long line of good genes too. Otherwise, I wouldn’t see in my own children: my daughter’s wit, inner beauty and conviction, and my son’s compassion, perceptiveness and charm.
That, my friend, is a bunch of nouns.