A Genetic ID

Swedish FlagYesterday, my Facebook News Feed alerted me that my second cousin, Asa, from Sweden—a woman I’ve met a few times but barely know—was “in bed with a baby and a laptop.” 

I laughed when I saw this. Because even though I’ve never seen her house (aside from the photos showing its pastures, lakes, dogs, and horses!)—let alone her bedroom or bed—I could picture this perfectly. Mostly because every morning you’ll find me “in bed with a baby and a laptop.” It’s a scene I know all too well. Knowing this tidbit helped me know her—understand her—instantly.

Like me, she left her full-time job to start a part-time gig from home so she could spend more time with her new baby. Like me, she loves her kids but also what she does outside of mothering—and wants to keep that a part of her life.

And like me—she starts her day off doing both jobs—of mothering and outside work—simultaneously.  Probably like me—though I have yet to ask her—she finds this both crazy and good, stressful and gratifying, the best of both worlds and the worst of both worlds….

While it’s not that strange that two cousins would turn out somewhat alike, it’s interesting to think how similar our lives are considering the dissimilar paths our sister-grandmothers (or “Farmors,” in Swedish) took. My Farmor left Sweden at 16 years old, leaving behind poverty, five younger siblings, and everything she knew for the complete unknown and a “better life” in America. Asa’s Farmor stayed in Sweden but left the family farm to seek the unknown and “better life” in Stockholm, where the family is now based.

And two generations later, here we are—in beds with babies and laptops. I always thought that my ending up here had something to do with my “American Dream” attitude or something to do with culture and nurture and all that. But now I wonder–as I see my cousin on another space on the globe—how much of our similarities are inbred, part of our genetic make-up. Our genetic ID passed down through the generations.

Either way, I hope we’ve made our Farmors proud as we’ve tackled some new frontiers ourselves (though I will NEVER claim to have the guts or the strength that my Farmor showed!) and have somehow found the “better life” that both sought.

But this whole “better life” thing is a topic for another day. I gotta go get my kids dressed for Trick or Treating! Happy Halloween!

2 Responses to “A Genetic ID”

  1. November 1, 2007 at 8:49 am #

    Hi there. I came over through Gifted for Leadership.

    Baby and a laptop. Now that’s quite a picture, but it’s one I think many women could identify with today!

  2. November 1, 2007 at 10:37 am #

    Hi!

    I am an American missionary in Sweden, and I just found your blog by looking at Call2All.org. under Bailey’s blessings, and that moved me on to Christianity Today. I have worked with YWAM for nearly 20 years, much of it here in Europe. My Mom & I train counselors for the U. of the Nations (YWAM’s University.)

    One of the things that struck me a few years ago when I visited family in the U.S. was that many men there opened doors. I caught myself with my mouth hanging open the first time on that trip. This particular gentleman also allowed me to go before him when picking up our drinks, although he was first in line that time. I thanked him profusely and had a very nice feeling while eating my lunch!

    Several months later, my Mom & I stayed in her home, which she rents out since she is also working here in Sweden. The new tenants sat down with us and asked, ‘How can we serve you?’ Then they asked, ‘What are your goals for the house?’ This was so opposite to what the previous tenants had done, even though both sets were Christians!

    My jaw dropped again, and I found myself close to tears. When I asked the Lord later why that had hit me so hard, he said that, ‘In Sweden, it’s everyone for themselves.’

    Not long after that, a young man in Sweden nearly crashed into Mom several times in separate settings. It scared her, as she has osteoporosis. (she’s 80!) She prayed that if she should talk to him, that she would cross paths with him again. When she met him a few days later, she approached him about this. He said to her that he had never been taught to look out for the elderly or others… and he asked her to let him know if there was anything else she noticed about him to let him know it! She hasn’t needed to do it, however.

    Yesterday in the grocery store, an elderly man practically pushed his cart into me as he was trying to get past the line. Then he proceeded to bump his cart purposely into a young woman’s back, as she was talking to her young son. She didn’t see the man, until then, and when she did, she jumped out of the way, saying, sorry, sorry, sorry!

    This man did not speak until then – no warning, just the big bump of his cart… he wanted to get ahead of her in the line to pay for his groceries! She explained it to me, and said, he’s old, and needs to go first. I felt he was very rude and impolite, but she bent over backwards to help him. How the tables were turned!

    In June, I was at a YWAM regional staff gathering in Germany. One of the speakers emphasized that we must train up our children in the way they should go, as when we get old, we may be led into places we do not want to go. The leaders of the Discipleship Training School were a brother & sister for whom I had babysat way back then. They were so honoring of my mother that it was amazing how she was treated there as opposed tohere! I am thankful that the generation that was young when I started in YWAM 25 years ago are now grown, and can testify that that generation has been taught well – it is now their job to raise up the next generation, and they are doing it well!

    I have written quite alot just because I clicked on some links online… I just wanted to identify with you and what you have written, but also the Swedish link – thanks for having your articles online for those of us who don’t have much to read in English over here!

    Blessings,
    Cindy

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