Some traits or habits can be traced relatively easily to one parent or another. Such as a loathing of broccoli or a bent for staying up way too late.
Connecting the dots with respect to others, however, may take many, many years. (If a connection is ever made.) It's one of those intangibles to mull over this Father's Day as you give tangible gifts to your Dad such as outdoor grills, golf clubs, golf balls, grass trimmers, neckties, slippers, fishing lures, and other "Dad" stuff.
Let me tell you a little about my Dad.
A native of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, he had been a Marine who survived unspeakable atrocities in the South Pacific during World War II.
After the war, he went to college on the GI Bill and became a structural engineer. He worked his way up, becoming a technical writer and, eventually, director of technical services at a roofing association.
One of the many things I know I inherited from Dad was a love of birds, outdoor and indoor. I've met a number of cat people, while others I know prefer dogs. Some have both as pets, plus other types of animals. Dad was unequivocally a bird person, and so am I.
One thing in particular has surprised me, though.
I have a certain weekend routine.
In the course of dissecting my Sunday Chicago Tribune at home, I tear certain quotations from the famous and not-so-famous that are printed at the bottom of pages in the Menards advertising supplement.
One day in the past couple of years my Mom, observing said ripping of those bits of wisdom, turned back to remark that Dad was fond of quotations.
I never knew. He never said.
I'm really curious. Did Dad keep quotations from the Menards paper? Mom says no. So where did he find the ones that spoke to him?
Unfortunately I can't ask because he passed away in 2001.
You may have inherited your mother’s eyes, but, genetically speaking, you use more DNA passed down from your father.
Be an observer this Father's Day. Maybe you'll see more than you have before, in terms of what your Dad passed on to you via his genes. For the better and, for the worse.
Oh, and thanks, Dad. I really get a kick out of those little witticisms.