Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ruminations on Dads; Or, Genetically Crafty-Makey


So Sunday is Father's Day. While this is a "made up" holiday1, it certainly does get one to thinking, and I'm sure it never hurts to have a day to celebrate an important person in your life.

Seeing as how this is a knitting blog, I thought "gee, how can I relate fathers back to knitting? Keep the content on-topic, eh?"
While I don't knit for my dad (I know better. There's just some people you don't knit for) and he certainly doesn't knit for himself (not sure, is knitting for ladies?)2, I can trace my joyful thriving on making stuff back to him. And even his father, too.

You might recall numerous occasions I've mentioned my dad on this blog; the most recent being my karmically-taunting mockings of him and his anti-raccoon efforts throughout my youth.

There's also the one where I talk about stuff-making, apple-growing, my lack of the genetic green thumb, dog-owning, steel-working and nostalgic song-listening.3

These stories, I now see, generally share ideas surrounding making. How I make, how he makes, and how maybe even further back our predecessors maked.4

But where did it really come from? Nature us nurture, right? I mean, it's tempting to think certain things are bred in yer bones; genetics are fascinating, especially when those familiar familial traits crop up in ostensibly non-genetic ways.

Ostensibly non-genetic, but who knows? I mean, I hear my great-uncle talk, and he sounds just like my grandfather. Can you have the very same voice as your own sibling? Is my brain just making that connection, even though (perhaps) there's quite a difference in their voices?

I've recently met some extended family of a good friend of mine. They share some similar mannerisms. What's with that?

And maybe it's all just situational: I was out with a friend of mine (she's about twenty years older than me) and we were asked if we were mother and daughter. Why? Because we're out together and both have brown hair and eyes?

A friend of mine who's a retired kindergarten teacher swears that our personalities are what they are and ever will be by the time we're five. Did all that playing in dad's workshop and exposure to table saws, peg boards, tools, electrical wires and random assortment of "parts" make my five-year-old mind say "yes, this is for me!"

Well hey, maybe I can get vociferously crafty-makey-hands from my dad. Be it through genetics or plain old craftular exposure, either way, thanks dad.

I'm having the mini-hoard (and I mean "hoard" in the most wonderful of ways) over on the big day. We're breaking in the new patio (great pics to follow, I promise).

Have a great weekend all!
1 One that's been around for only about 100 years (only!)
Hardy har har. I feel I must footnote this sarcastic laughter, lest anyone actually think I'm a sexist jerk.
3 Let me tell ya, that "search blog" box up there is quite helpful when you can't remember all the posts you've written over the past seven years on your blog that talk about your dad!
4 That's right, maked. I made the decision to misuse the English language just there. I figured putting "how our predecessors made" sounded scatological.
Yes, I'm a child.


Hilary said...

Oh my goodness, I LOVED this post. I am absolutely fascinated by the nature vs. nurture thing, including how it plays into crafty-makey-ness. Do I love to knit and sew and make things because I watched my mom and grandmothers do it? Or is it strong in me because it's in my blood on both sides? And how does my dad play into it? Like his father, and like his father's father, he's a farmer -- the ultimate in making things, he makes (plant) life! I don't think it's a coincidence that crafty folks like you and me come from crafty parents. And I don't know about you, but my desire to make things comes from deep's not an urge, or a feeling of "I need to do this because it's what I'm supposed to do", it's a deep-seated yearning to CREATE and I feel restless until it's satisfied. That has to be beyond nurture. And my brother has it, too (and is a farmer, 4th generation). Anyway...sorry for the long comment. But I loved your post. :)

meredith MC said...

I'm curious about nature vs. nurture also. For example, around the age of 20, I decided that I must garden. Now, my mother, father and no-one in my immediate growing up space did any gardening. I remember my mom once saying that she would like to have a garden, but we had lots of shade and clay soil, and a veggie garden didn't fit in with my step-dad's boring suburban, upper-middle-class image of us. My grandparents gardened, though I saw them rarely and don't remember being interested as a child. Now, I garden like it's a bodily function. Can this have been inherited from my grandparents? Having had almost zero garden influence in my life until the day I decided it was for me, I have to wonder. There was certainly no nurture involved. Same with all my makey tendencies. My grandparents were crafty, my parents were not. Can Makey tendencies skip a generation?
Ps I too use the language as I please, despite the "rules." Even though I'm a language arts teacher and misused apostrophes make me insane, I love the word "funner" and I promise that saying it is far funner than saying "more fun." (I'm also game for an occasional run-on sentence).
Love your musings, yarn related or not!

Anonymous said...

I agree, a very interesting post (and of course comical, as always).

Genetics and nature vs. nurture is always fascinating stuff.

There is definitely a crafty gene on my mom's side of the family. It skips some individuals (including my mom) and then makes up for it by all-out encompassing others. And then there is my dad's side - no craftiness there at all. But there are other things I definitely got from them.

Mark M. said...

"Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man." -- Jesuit maxim