Karma is just another word for Genes

My first week out has been a fascinating, if overwhelming, venture into the blogosphere.  With Mother’s Day just past, the topic that stands out is mothers, children and parenting more generally.

But first, I want to dedicate this one to two bloggers who made my week:

Lynn Kelly

Lynn is an awesome lady – she was the first to comment on my blog, and her welcome was so generous and warm it made me want to keep going (instead of run away screaming back to anonymity).  She has a fantastic, quirky sense of humour and her blog on Mums’ Absent Minded Moments was hilarious.  (Note to self: since you already have those moments, DO NOT have kids – borrow someone else’s!)

It was her Blogoversary this week, too, and reading where she’s come from to now was truly inspirational.

The other was a Freshly Pressed blog by the Man of the Minivan  who wrote about the Joys of Disciplining Someone Else’s ChildIt was a totally entertaining read, and all the more refreshing because he says it how it is (Disclaimer: if you don’t like opinionated, don’t go there).  This blog obviously hit a nerve, because his post has 209 comments and counting – and he’s replied to every single one of them! He seems like a great guy, and an awesome Dad to boot.

From everything I’ve read and heard in my life, I’ve pretty much got the picture that having kids is a show-stopping, life-changing event.

For those who’ve made the decision to have them (or the decision not to do anything to stop having them), here’s the thing:

Brothers, sisters, Grans and Gramps – it affects us, too!

Here’s how I know:

There was a day, many moons ago, when a well-meaning mother in a public toilet block mistook me for my sister’s son.

I’m not sure if it was the sexy Kermit outfit….

…or the attractive haircut my sister had just given me (‘I know, I want to be a hairdresser! Let me practice…’)

Anyway, ever since then I’ve been determined to live up to the fiction that I’m adopted.

And it was all going along so well…until my sister actually had a son.

We should have sorted out our differences before that happened, but alas, Karma is just another word for Genes (coming back to bite us on the butt).

It was like the universe waited until the Sun, Moon and Rising Star were aligned exactly how they were when I was born.  Then out he popped – a few weeks overdue.

Now our family had two shy but horrifically stubborn Taureans to deal with.

Whether you believe in astrology or not, it is impossible to escape that familial connection – that uncanny ability my nephew and I have to look inside each other’s souls and know what’s there.

It’s like the time, when he was barely three, he proclaimed how “Aunty Nana’s scary.”

He said it, probably because in that moment, unlike his mother, I wasn’t buying his tantrum.

We bored into each other’s eye sockets, and then he ran away up the stairs.

And he thought HE was scared.

Having now three nephews and a niece (if only there was a single word for them, like Neephs…cute little Neephs), I’ve learned a great deal about myself.

Like the fact that my mouth has an aversion to forming actual WORDS is a genetic affliction.

It’s unnerving, the way they can look at you, and look away, and without one word just sum yours up:

Eh, phony.

I can’t blame them, really.  I’d think the same if I had to listen to me trying to make small talk.

Which is why, as a family, we are much more comfortable in silent proximity to one another, admiring the wind in the trees.

Recently, I had a birthday, and was again reminded of the connection running through our veins.  My sister’s three each drew a picture, and later, the conversation on the phone went something like this:

4 yo: ‘I dwew you LADY BIRDS!!’

6 yo: ‘I don’t wemember what I dwew…yeah, it was a TWEE HOUSE!’

Mum (for soon-to-be 8 yo): ‘He doesn’t want to talk’

And I get it.  Sometimes it’s hard to say how we feel, or to even have anything to say at all.  And that’s where Art comes in.

I write because I love my Neephs, because there are things about the world I want to share with them, because – in whatever way I can – I want their world to be a better place.

Their struggles are my struggles – to deny that connection is to deny life itself, and all the lessons that it brings.

So what about you?  Does being an Aunt, Uncle, Parent, Grandparent – any kind of child relative – scare the pants off you?  Do you see karmic patterns in those little bundled genes?  How has it rocked your world?


  1. says

    Welcome to the blogosphere, and thank you for the mention! 🙂 Geez, my wife calls me opinionated sometimes.. haha! 😉 Enjoyed the post, and keep in touch!

      • says

        Haha, no problem. Because you linked to my blog, I saw the trackback jump into the inbox. The past few days have been insane! The post is down from FP, so traffic has slowed. However, if you get FP’ed in the future, BE PREPARED! It’s one wild ride. Enjoy!

  2. lynnkelleyauthor says

    Wow, talk about a great surprise! Thanks so much for the shout out, Alarna! You’re totally awesome. And this post is hilarious! You’re a natural blogger, girl. If didn’t know, I never ever would have guess this is your second post. Fun, entertaining, and so well written. I love your humor. And that photo from when you were a kid! So cute and so much personality! How cool that you and your nephew are so much alike. It is amazing, isn’t it? I’m going to read Man of the Minivan’s post. I don’t have WordPress, so I didn’t know what Freshly Pressed was until I read about it on Susie Lindau’s blog. Her post for today is about spam jail and she talks about how to avoid it. She also mentions Freshly Pressed in her previous post. You might be interested in it. I have no doubt that some of your posts will be Freshly Pressed one of these days!

    • says

      I’m so totally flawed by your words, Lynn. Really. It’s taken me so long to get the nerve to do this and, believe me, what you’re seeing here is not my first draft, LOL! Thank you SO much. I’m going to check out Susie’s blog, as I don’t really know anything about Freshly Pressed, except that it keeps catching my eye 🙂 Have a fabulous night/day (and I’m looking forward to getting around to reading your books) 🙂

  3. Coleen Patrick says

    I agree with Lynn, you are a natural Alarna! (love the photos too, very cute)
    And as for kids scaring the pants off me? Well besides the trips to the emergency room, the first thing that comes to mind is the entire stage of TEEN–which is where both my children are at right now.
    That rocks my world frequently. 🙂

    • says

      Thanks, Coleen! It’s turning out way more of a buzz than I expected 🙂 . TEENS, yeah – that must be a whole new category of terror for everyone involved! Best news is, we all get through it eventually (parents presumably included) 🙂

    • says

      Hi Ingrid, what a surprise! I’m so thrilled to see you here, thank you 🙂 It’s quite a challenge, but I’m looking forward to it, and enjoying reading everyone else’s magic (including yours) 🙂

  4. says

    Hi I found your blog from Ella’s blog, as you made some comments there. She has been following one of my blogs, so I wanted to check hers out also.

    I was never afraid to have children since I began babysitting when I was twelve years old and continued until I got my first job at eighteen. I guess being the eldest of six kids helped a lot also.

    I’ve always wanted kids and enjoyed being around kids whether those related to me or those of friends, but I had to wait until I was in my mid-thirties before starting a family. (I guess I didn’t have to, it’s just how it worked out).

    I believe to having kids you need to be able to have trust. Trust that you make good decisions, trust that they will be safe and grow up making good decisions for themselves and for the things that we have no control over-trust God that he will protect them.

    My first daughter was a fussy baby but once she grew out of that she became easy going. My second daughter, (they are three years and three days apart) was the perfect baby. She only cried when there was a reason. When she got a bit older things changed. She didn’t have terrible two’s it was like she had PMS at two-she had moods. She did have terrible ten’s for a short time, including the tantrums in retail stores when I wouldn’t buy her makeup.

    There was a time when they were riding their bikes and tricycle in front of our house while I was reading my Bible. I could hear them going back and forth. A bit later, I realized that I wasn’t hearing them anymore. I went outside and they weren’t in the front or back yard and nowhere to be found. So I prayed about it and then walked to the block in back of our house (we had a sidewalk that connected the two blocks, for school-children). On the other block, at the end was a park, sure enough, I could see their bikes there. They were quite okay. God took care of them, and I didn’t freak out about it.

    They are now about to turn twenty-four and twenty-one. I am closer to the youngest one, but I have a great relationship with both of them.

    • says

      Hi Marsha, thanks for visiting! You have a wealth of experience in caring for and raising children (being one of six siblings would definitely give you a head start!). Glad to hear you have been able to weather the challenges, and foster loving relationships with both daughters. That’s something to really be proud of 🙂

  5. says

    I have an adopted daughter, who came to me at age 3 1/2. I also have 2 nephews who I’m incredibly attached to. I love love love my daughter, but when I look at my nephews (who look like me, too) it amazes me and freaks me out that we are actually related by blood. I dunno how to explain it … it’s just so weird.

    • says

      Yes, I know what you mean! I used to think it didn’t matter – and I still don’t think you have to be related to be ‘family’. But since I became an Aunt, I’ve realised, there is so much more to that blood connection than I ever would have guessed. Freaky is the word 🙂


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