Most of us were supposed to have learned this in high-school biology, but here's a quick review:
As a big fan of metaphor, I keep wrestling with a good way to describe the complicated mixing of genetics. Half an apple (father) plus half an orange (mamma) and each child is an apple-orange? Erm –– that does not clarify anything.
Maybe a soccer playoff? Two leagues, 46 teams, they have to fall out into half-teams and play the final while paired with an unfamiliar other half-team? Hmm. But what about the goalies? NO! Just nope! Sports metaphors, ratsa fratsa....
Or wait: what if you think of the mom as a margarita –– the good kind, with the top-shelf tequila, Grand Marnier, lime zest, fresh-squeezed Key lime juice, and sea-salt over ice. Which naturally makes the daddy an Old Fashioned, all muddled bitters and sugar, dark rye, a fat twist of orange peel with a maraschino cherry on top.
Unzip the spirals, mix, mingle and –– poof!
One kid turns out a mix of tequila, bitters and a maraschino cherry. Another is Grand Marnier and rye with orange and lime zest. A third child is a sour mix of lime and bitters and sea-salt. Another... you get the picture.
That's why you aren't exactly like your sibling (unless you're an identical twin), but instead seem like variants on a theme: Mumsie's near-sighted eyes and Daddo's thick, wavy hair paired with different jawlines and frames.
Go to a family reunion and the mixology can be actively unsettling: the shared blond curls, the cousin's toddler child who is a ringer for long-dead great-Gramp Earl, and the vision of your parent's feet at the end of someone else's legs.
Or maybe it's comforting, that ongoing flow of family genes. A river, maybe, even more than a mélange of mixed drinks.
Naturally, there's more to say about the genetic side of genealogy, but this is enough for now, I think.
Which brings me, sideways, to the word "anon." Anon can be short for "anonymous," but it's also an archaic adverb meaning "shortly." As in, I will write more about this anon. The etymology of the word (it strikes me that genealogy is the etymology of a person. Hmm.) gives it an Old English heritage. It meant "into one," which eventually referred to time, as in "at once."
I am distracted, it's inevitable, by thinking about how the Old English (700-1100 A.D.) visualized time differently that we do.
Until later. Anon.
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