Family ties that bind, remind us

Hunting, Fishing and Other Grounds for Divorce, by Jacki Michels

Turnabout is fair-haired play when grandkids start to arrive

Like most families, things run in ours. Not only are we frequently found running here and there, running in circles, running late, but certain traits also generationally run in our family.

My ancestors gifted me with a Finnish temper and a special brand of stubbornness known as Sisu. I also inherited that special nose we can’t seem to outrun. My auntie got that genetic hand-me-down in spades — pretty sure we could land a plane on that honker. I can say that without fear of reprisal, as we also are hardwired for humor.

My hub came from a long line of red hair, freckles and melanin deprivation. He brings his own brand of stubbornness. When blended with mine, our combined DNA produced mutant offspring that are hysterically funny and as stubborn as mules.

On both sides we have Ph.D.s, BSNs, CNPs, RNs, CNAs and enough BS, PMS and natural gas to be considered a renewable source of alternative power.

Farming, fishing, a love of food and lactose intolerance are strong mutual traits. And like most families, there are the weird anomalies over which we scratch our heads and try to find an ancestor to credit — or blame, as the case may be.

Rh negative? Well, I guess my grandma’s sisters had it.

Thirty-four inch inseam and a 12 wide women’s shoe for one of our girls? Don’t ya know there are a few tall Swedes on Grandpa Carl’s side, and suspected Amazon warrior princesses somewhere in the woodpile?

Juvenile diabetes? Where’d that come from?

Once my hub got tossed in jail by an officer who refused to believe he had an identical twin brother with a sound-alike name. Egad, family ties can be rough if the handcuffs are too tight!

Last time we compared notes we were tied three for three for twins. Last summer we learned the happy news that our daughter was expecting and we had great fun coming up with names. We guessed at what possible family traits might be carried on. We patted the mound that had absconded with our girl’s waistline and wondered what the new baby would look like and made “little” jokes about twins. In the end our daughter’s belly measured 4 feet, 5 inches around — yes, that is correct — before Jaxon and Jasper made their grand entrance into our family.

We’re still working on identifying who’s who. Because of their sweet little blue hats identifying them they will always affectionately be Baby A and Baby B to us. As a family we marveled over their little noses, noting one little one had a definite upturned schnoz .We searched for shades of red in their little fuzzy tufts of hair and we admired their little dimpled chins that look so much like their daddy’s.

Unanimously, we decided they were cute.

We also prayed with sincere gratitude for their safe arrival and piled on more prayers that they would not have diabetes as we anxiously waited for their blood sugar levels to stabilize. It was a somber and serious and beautiful time.

Then Baby A grunted and loudly demonstrated that his bowels were functioning absolutely perfectly. Baby B, not to be upstaged, responded in kind.

Yup. That’s our boy(s).

  • Grounds for staying married: Finally getting to the turnabout phase of life. First move — handing babies back to their parents once they make do-do in their diapers. Next move — stir up the older kids with a snowball fight and making our mad getaway as we toss the last snowball at the door. “Bye kids, love ya, all see ya’all later!” As we wave goodbye, let out a jolly laugh and dash away, dash away in our white Yukon sleigh.

Jacki Michels is a freelance writer who lives (and loves) in Soldotna.

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Filed under Fishing and Other Grounds for Divorce, humor

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