It’s All In the Genes

I’ve been thinking a lot today about genes and genetics. I have this weird love/hate appreciation/annoyance at all things genetic. I find the principals of genetics and their impact to be fascinating and yet I find the study of them and the science of them incredibly boring. When Chef Husband was the TA of a genetics course years back I would pray that he wouldn’t want to talk about the course (thankfully, he’s much more interested in his field of study – ecology – than he is about genetics and didn’t much like talking about it nor teaching it).

Since having children, my opinion of genes has changed a fair bit. Take food for example and let’s look at a bit of family history here:

Mr Man – allergic to peanuts
Miss Aceliac, dairy/soy intolerant

Meceliac, dairy/soy intolerant, shellfish allergic, cashew allergic
Chef Husband – allergic to nothing the lucky duck

Uncle – allergic to bananas, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts
Auntie – allergic to fish
Maternal grandmother – allergic to bananas, grapefruit, scallops, carries celiac gene
Paternal grandfather – allergic to some fish

That doesn’t even start to delve into any other relatives like aunts and uncles for me or my husband. History of food allergies? why yes, I think there just might be one there.

Then look at my daughter today who underwent her second surgery of her life (and she’s only 4!!) First of all, she looks exactly like I did as a child (talk about genetics):

She has her dad’s tonsils and her mom’s ears. Her tonsils (and adenoids) were covering 75% of her throat (and nose). Just like her dad’s do. Her ears just won’t work properly on their own, so she’s on her second set of tubes now to eliminate ear infections and to restore her hearing (more importantly). She had moderate-severe hearing loss in one ear and mild-moderate in the other. Just like I did.

It’s all in the genes.

Looking beyond the physical and medical side though, watching your children develop into this insanely strong, self-advocating, educating, powerful young beings makes me proud to know that they have my genes in them. If I gave them even a portion of their strength and intellect, then I applaud my genetic make-up. Because man alive, I am proud to be the mama to these children. Their children may have much higher likelihoods of food problems (just look at the genetic history!), but if the strength of my children is any indication, their kids will get by just fine.

Here is my daughter post-op, cuddled up to her doll she named “Lemon”. She’s doing well, eating like a machine, drinking up a storm, and talking. (Look for another post this week on what to do when you’re away from home as a celiac).


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Stephanie O'Dea
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 17:37:59

    hugs to you and your little one. Seeing her picture in the hospital bed brought back a flood of memories. They are just so little to be poked and prodded…lots of love to you.


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