Inheritance

No, my parents didn’t pass away and leave me with a pile of cash; I hope that never happens. I hope they enjoy their hard-earned money until they die, leaving nothing behind. Then I’ll know that they lived to the fullest. Wait, I take that back – I’d like the hutch, Mom. Okay, now that I’ve cleared that up, let me tell you what this post is really about, my children’s inheritance. Specifically, it’s about the traits one of my daughters has inherited from me genetically. Even more specifically, it’s about her disobedience. I kind of need to work this out, because only by analyzing the situation can I truly get a firm grip on exactly what’s going on and perhaps some solutions; only by identifying the cause can we eliminate the negative effect. So, bear with me.

I know that I had a disobedient streak growing up. “Jason, don’t touch it. It’s hot,” said Mom in regards to the tailpipe of our van which had just been driven for over an hour. Did I listen? Did I walk away? No, I stood there staring at the tailpipe and thought Yeah, what do you know, Mom! Fortunately my screaming was louder than the sizzling skin on my index finger, otherwise I think Mom would’ve been really scared.

One would think I should learn to listen to Mom and not be so disobedient after such an injury. But, no, I had that disobedient streak. So, even when Mom gave me the EXACT SAME ADVICE when I was watching the popcorn pop in the old-fashioned popper, I decided to ignore every word she said. Fortunately I had the added noise of popping corn added to my screaming to mask the sizzling of my index finger, otherwise Mom would’ve been really scared.

But, looking back at those two specific instances, perhaps it wasn’t disobedience for me then nor for my daughter’s actions now. I was always a hands-on learner and so is she. Perhaps I just needed to experience it physically to truly learn the science behind heat transfer. (I regret that I needed multiple experiments for that lesson to sink in, but at least I know better now.) So, even when authority figures speak, that failure to heed their advice may not necessarily be disobedience, just a natural hands-on learner needing the experience. Like the time I was fixing an applause sign for my 12th grade Modern Global History teacher. Any shop teacher or book will tell you not to cross two live wires. But, I wanted to see exactly what would happen – I was curious to know for myself! The loud pop and immediate darkness sure scared the snot out of the kids in study hall in the auditorium that morning! And, I avoided electrocution – so all was good.

And sometimes experimentation by a hands-on learner has nothing to do with disobedience but instead the exercise of creativity. No one ever told me not to mix Immodium with Exlax…with a Pepto-Bismol chaser! But, I just had to know. Then I just had to go, or not, or go, or not…or pass out. And my daughter in question is a highly-creative soul. Perhaps I just need to monitor her creativity so it doesn’t reach the same level of “excessive” creativity in my own past.

However, there’s also the possibility that it’s her hearing which is causing the problem. All check-ups show that her hearing is perfect; just like mine was. Even today I’d pass any hearing test the doctors could throw at me. The problem, however, isn’t so much recognizing the presence of sound, it’s the vocalizations of speech which I sometimes have difficulty processing. I hear the sounds just fine but they sometimes end up muddled in my brain. (This type of auditory processing disorder is actually on the autism spectrum. Definitely 917 words on this blog, definitely 917 words.) That’s probably why I was so shy growing up, I had difficulty in hearing exactly what people were saying. Take, for example, the time I was geared up for my first summer basketball camp. My two older brothers were going to a traditional summer camp, Camp Hugh Beaver. I had no interest in joining my brothers, I was all about the hoops, so I was initially traumatized by this exchange with Mom at the dinner table…

“So, I go to basketball camp after Jared and Jeremy go to Camp Q Beaver?”

“Hugh, honey.”

“ME???”

Needless to say, I was in a virtual panic. I didn’t want to go to that camp, I wanted basketball camp. Once my family stopped laughing at my expense and spelled out H-U-G-H I was okay, but those few precious moments were terrifying. All I can say about my poor hearing is this – I’m glad it wasn’t my vision because my ability to learn braille is greatly hindered by the excessive nerve damage to my index finger from touching tailpipes and popcorn poppers.

I am in no way complaining about said daughter. She’s a good kid, and smart, and beautiful. She gets all of that from her mother, which is a blessing. So, I’ll just have to watch her over the years and gently guide her along the path of life so she doesn’t make the same mistakes I’ve made. In essence, I have the role of any other parent to make sure my child has an even better and brighter future than me. Because, God forbid I read a blog like this thirty years down the road.

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