You just gotta love hybrid vigor. It’s a term that is used often in dairy breeding as a way to explain the outcomes of genetics … but I had forgotten about it until Saturday, when I met up with my college friends for the first time in, like, 20 years!!!
It was a nice reunion on Saturday night. Funny how some things just don’t change … and other things change a LOT.
The nuts and bolts of the people are the same, though.
It took us a few minutes, as I don’t think anyone quite knew where to begin after 20 years, but eventually we fell right back into place, where we left off, our personalities persevering through the short awkwardness of the years we missed out on for reasons beyond our understanding.
You just have to chalk it up as life happens, and relationships get put on the back burner for a bit. It doesn’t mean that you don’t love and appreciate your old friends; it just means that pressing matters of daily life prevail.
We talked about our children, a lot! Of course we all knew each other’s spouses–where it all began. We talked about our children’s traits, the ones that were easily seen from which parent and also the ones that left us scratching our heads, saying, “Where the heck did they get that quality?”
We all took Dr. Park’s genetics course, and, in the course of the conversation, one of us brought up the term hybrid vigor in a funny sort of manner. The light bulb went on in that dark corner of my brain, and I remembered how much I always appreciated that term … maybe not so much the course that it was associated with though!
But hybrid vigor, it says, different, it says wow, it says, how did those genes make that?!?!
It says optimism, strength, vitality, willingness to live, zing–I have arrived!
Hybrid vigor shouts, “Look at me! I am quite better than my folks!”
Yes, just look at you … a specimen of better … progress.
Traits, characteristics, personalities, nature vs. nurture … experiences.
It was all a swirl in my mind Saturday night, as that dusty old college terminology came up from the past. It was the warmth of the friendships, the sharing, the drink in my hand, the nostalgia. Gosh, it seemed like just yesterday … but, yet, so far away.
And as I dusted off the cobwebs and got further into that quiet, corner of my brain, the one that had been turned off for so many years, I started remembering those qualities of my college friends that I admired all those years ago. Like an old shoe, stretched out sweatshirt, or well-worn pair of jeans, they fit just right, comfortable. And, as the hours went by, I remembered more and more the reasons why I loved them.
Here’s to Heart.
Here’s to Depth and Intellect.
Here’s to Funny Stories.
Here’s to Wingman.
Here’s to Dependability.
Do I have a word? Not sure I can pinpoint it, but I am sure my friends can … but I might be afraid of what they come up with 😉 They know me too well!
We shared so much in such a short time during our years at Cornell. The impact that our old friends have on our life is immeasurable. I love you all very deeply for that.
And let’s not forget hybrid vigor; it’s a term that has me stuck somewhere between a textbook, Morrison Hall, and a nightlife that didn’t get started until 10, with Sweet Caroline and a round for everyone … at Dunbar’s.