I’m down in Indiana for my sisters’ wedding. She’s marrying a great guy. We’re all happy for her. And there’s a bunch of our family getting together for this time. We have Doepkens from Indy and Alaska and Portland and Colorado. Today, when one of the relatives saw Samuel, she said, “I thought he was Charlie (another “Doepken”) because he had the Doepken walk.” And someone went on to say, that Samuel walked like Charlie who walked like Bill who walked like Tony who walked like Jim…me. And this is right. There’s something about the Doepken walk.
It’s not quite a mosey. Maybe it’s a shamble. Saunter makes it sound far too planned.
But there is a distinctive walk that we Doepken men seem to have.
Maybe it’s a shuffle.
Maybe it’s a genetic thing and our bodies are just shaped in such a way that we all walk exactly the same. It could be long tosos that make it happen. Perhaps we’re just lazy walkers and there’s not much spring in our step. Is it nature or nurture. Were we born this way or did we just learn to walk like this by watching our own fathers.
Maybe we’re just meandering.
Nevertheless, we have three generations of “Doepken walkers” and I think my dad’s dad had the same walk if I remember correctly. Clearly this is something that’s passed down to our kids. Maybe Samuel can break the cycle…
But when it comes down to it, a style of walk is a pretty innocuous trait to pass along. There are a lot of other things that get handed down, generation to generation that cause problems: poor self-image, anger issues, alcoholism or drug addiction. And there’s lots of good stuff too: faith, and love, and respect.
I hope and pray that, beyond the Doepken walk, I have lived…and am living…my life in such a way that my kids will want to replicate the good traits of my life.
Says Deuteronomy 4:9:
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
Maybe it’s a sashay. That sounds fun.