Can a child inherit the laughter of their parents?

Inheritance: "Why did I have to inherit that from you?"


is 18 years old. Her father Tillmann Prüfer writes about her and his other three daughters aged 13, 11 and 5 on a weekly basis.

When I was a child I was often told that I had inherited something. Of course I was pleased, at least until I understood that it was by no means a monetary inheritance. Rather, I had inherited body parts or properties. My grandfather's laughter, my great-grandfather's nose and forehead, my mother's eyes. Just everything of me was from someone and absolutely nothing was from me. Apparently I was a Frankenstein monster, made up of other people's body parts. If I had been disinherited, if I had been forced to give back all the borrowed extremities, then nothing would have been left of me, I would have simply dissolved. Which, in turn, would have meant that I wasn't really there before. But the lenders apparently didn't seem keen to get their things back either. They even denied them: "Well, he didn't get that from me!"

Now it is I who allegedly passed on some traits, types of movement and postures to the children. For each of my daughters, I've been told that they have everything from me and that they look just like me. Even my wife says that. In turn, I find that none of my children look like me at all. I think that's a good thing. I like myself, but I'm not so great that I have to export myself in all directions. I have a very distinctive nose, my hair is a dirty dark blonde, I am - I think - not very tall either. In any case, several of my physical characteristics are not on the wish list for getting a dream body.

However, I have no doubt passed on some traits. Most to my daughter Luna. For example, when Luna's skin is exposed to the sun, it immediately turns red. Luna burns faster in the sun than Nosferatu. If we go away together, then we have to borrow the children's sunscreen from July in order to be able to defy the UV radiation. "Why did I have to inherit the skin from you?" Luna wails. I then explain to her that the ideal of beauty of tanned skin is also outdated, and that I am quite sure that the genteel paleness will soon be cultivated as exemplary again. Luna always looks at me a bit pityingly when I squirm like that. Unfortunately, food allergies are also part of my genetic makeup. For example, I'm allergic to stone and pome fruit. I can't eat cherries, I can't eat peaches, I can't chew apples. Luna recently had to go to the hospital. She had carelessly eaten fresh plums, and her eyes swelled shut. "Are you allergic to plums too?" - "Yes, I'm allergic to plums too." - "And the other day my lips itched when I ate hazelnuts, against those too?" - "Try the cashew nuts." - "Dad, I'm vegan! I'm slowly running out of food because of all the allergies I inherited from you!" I try to reassure my daughter, I say that she could have inherited beautiful things from me. "For example?" Asks Luna. "For example ...", but then I don't say anything more.

Because I think that with all good things you should always be of the opinion that they only come from you.