The Gift of Family
Posted on December 23rd, 2012
For Christmas, I spit in a cup.
Technically, a test tube. It took a long time to fill that sucker, even when I closed my eyes and thought of lemons.
Why? Because for Christmas, M ordered genetic testing from 23andme. And I am so excited about it. Excited to see if the genealogies are correct (because they match to families, and as more people are tested and join the database, the more accurate it becomes). Excited to see what percentage of Neanderthal I am (M is 3%; I got him this testing a couple of years back). Excited to see medical predispositions (other than the blood clotting weirdness I discovered after Pea was born and which makes my life, actuarially speaking, worthless — or at least uninsurable, aside from employer policies). I’m excited to possibly tear down one of the closest brick walls in the tree, a frustrating nineteenth-century dead end.
Through the magic that is other online genealogical sites, I’ve become friends with distant cousins — better friends than I am with my first and second cousins. I’ve discovered old friends are cousins (a high school friend is a tenth cousin on my father’s side and a ninth cousin on my mother’s), and I learned I’m related to one of my fellow MILPs. M and I are, I think, 14th cousins. (Perspective: not since sixteenth-century England.)
So that makes me happy: family, or a sense of connection to others that is not entailed with my birth family. Family at arm’s length, unencumbered with drama.
And it goes without saying (even though this is the second time I’ve said it in a week) that the other Christmas blessing is my chosen family, my friends, who are so wonderful to us.