Norah Jones

My husband mentioned to me this morning that Ravi Shankar turns 85 today which made me wonder if I was remembering correctly that he was Norah Jones’ father. I did a search and found out that yes, he is. Amidst the information I found was a rather contentious conversation about what, if anything, his talent had to do with his daughter’s given their lack of contact for most of her life.

It reminded me of one of the most interesting parts of getting to be a grandmother. Four of my children are parents and as I look at their children, I see features that belong to my parents, my in-laws, and the grandparents on the other sides of the family. I notice how cousins sometimes look more alike than siblings and I wonder how some genes have more power than others to predominate over generations.

I see not only their physical features, but their personalities and preferences. Can it really be that the love of pens and papers that my father had and that my sister and I shared and that my daughters share really has been genetically encoded? What a joy it was taking my granddaughter to town one day and stopping into a stationery store and seeing her fascination with exactly the same objects.

Of course that goes both ways. One daughter-in-law can’t really understand why none of my children are sports fans. I jokingly told her that there were no known sports genes on either side of the family. Was it really a joke?

As a therapist, I have been engaged with the nature/nurture controversy for years. It seems that the pendulum has recently swung in favor of nature based upon a number of studies. In view of the demanding lifestyle that most parents live and often their lack of time and energy for their children– in the creation of human beings, that might have been a very prudent design feature.

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  1. Lori Mager Barstow says

    Love you! I KNOW that you were referring to ME when you spoke of cousins who look more like sisters than sisters…I being the missing link. However, you may have forgotten that my DAD was (and our Aunt Lil still is) a sports fan. Dad was an accomplished gymnast but he had to choose between that field and art (our other common thread). So you now know that sports is a recessive gene. And what about the M gene…the affinity towards clutter we Mager girls possess. Oh and do you have curly toes? Kim does too!

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