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Nature or Nurture?

What makes us, us?

Is it mostly genetics?

I largely swing to the DNA side of the aisle because even when I’m trying as hard as I can not to, I hear The German and see The German in my idiosyncrasies.  Her “Oh my Got, Patti!” rings through the air.  I can’t escape it, people.

Is it mostly nurture?

If that’s the case, I should be heavily medicated, swigging rum from a bottle and running around in only my underwear, which I am not.  No, really.  I’M NOT!

The open secret in my family is that I had a tough road in my high school years.  Tougher than others?  Yes, in some instances, no, in others.  What I do know is that most of us have tough roads to navigate in our lives.  Doesn’t make me special that I lived to tell the tale.  It’s just a matter of fact that things didn’t go as I would have liked in order to come into adulthood without battle fatigue.

While I believe nature has more to do with my basic self, nurture took the genetic seeds and helped them bloom into something that allowed me strength to withstand the shit storm that I walked through, or would die trying, as a young woman.


My humor is definitely genetic; it’s simple and easy and innate.  My entire family is funny.  Although, I’m the least funny of the bunch.  They’re some of the funniest people I’ve ever known.  I would defy you to sit through a family dinner with us without almost peeing yourself.  Sure, it would most likely come at your expense, but somehow I don’t think you’d care.

There are some parts of me that I had to cultivate, that I had to study in others, in order to be a good wife, to be a good mother, in order to be a good me.

I was once asked what was my most defining trait.  I answered, “Optimism.”  Boy and Husband said, “Determination.”  Combined, with my childlike faith that God has put me where I should be, those two markers have been a fearsome force for all the good that has ever happened to me.

I think what makes us, us, is us.  Taking all that we are given, nature and nurture or lack thereof, and purposely deciding to form a life worth living.  Maybe even a life bigger than we could have imagined.

We may or may not be able to get more than what we’re born with to bear this world, but if we decide to move through the bloodshed even as we’re bleeding out, if we remember there is a joy that transcends all understanding, if we hold fast to love, I think we have all that we need.

As of February, I have more than I need.

Nature vs Nurture

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Tuesday 2nd of April 2013

I loved your post, it's almost like fate led my way to it...I have a new granddaughter that is now the joy of my life...I almost let losing a child of my own define me, but finally let that go and the world has come shining in...we can't let the past bring us down, but rise to meet the new challenges with hope. Sorry to get serious, your family sounds amazing...I'm a firm believer in humor, we laugh alot around here! jenna

Mrs. Tucker

Tuesday 2nd of April 2013

My past will always be with me, just as yours is with you. It's how we decide to move forward that matters, isn't it? I'm happy to read you were able to move forward in a positive way. That always makes my heart happy. congrats on the new little one!

Vicki Valenta

Tuesday 2nd of April 2013

Wow! That's really what I have to say about this post. I have often thought about this very subject. Why do some of us walk through the fire and come out okay and even stronger on the other side while others just let it burn them to a crisp and never even try to walk out. I love this post!

Mrs. Tucker

Tuesday 2nd of April 2013

Thank you. I have often wondered that myself. Next post! Lol!

Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs

Tuesday 2nd of April 2013

Oh, how very true for me, too: "There are some parts of me that I had to cultivate, that I had to study in others, in order to be a good wife, to be a good mother, in order to be a good me."

I do believe the crap we survived and saw made us understand what NOT to do and how to be the very best we can be in raising the bar for future generations.

Loved this post. Thank you for sharing it... and linking it to the GRAND Social!

Mrs. Tucker

Tuesday 2nd of April 2013

Such nice words, thank you.

Grandma Kc

Saturday 30th of March 2013

Oh we may be soul mates. I survived my mother and I know that I am a better me for having lived through it. I hope I am all the things she wasn't. I know I am NOT all of the things that she was. I am so sorry your life was not an easy one but I have to admit it is refreshing to hear from someone else who struggled. Sorry, didn't mean to let all of that spill out.

Mrs. Tucker

Saturday 30th of March 2013

It's what I envisioned this site to be: a me-helping-you-helping-me kinda thang, so please, never apologize. I am strengthened knowing what a good grandmother you are (it leaps of of Amara's face!). Thank you for sharing with me (us!). Have a blessed Easter.

Carol Covin

Saturday 30th of March 2013

I think one of the most valuable things Grandmas do is link our past to our grandchildren's future through the stories we tell about our childhood and our children's childhood. Nature, sure, but our value-add is nurture.

Mrs. Tucker

Saturday 30th of March 2013

I love this thought.