Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Graham's Blueprint

Last night as I was falling asleep, I was thinking about how every part of Graham was once a part of me, except for half of the blueprint, which came from Nate. But I supplied the rest. I made the little carriage for his soul.

Then I was thinking--all the material I needed to make his little body came from the air I breathed, the water I drank, the food I ate. So pretty much Graham is made out of Costa Vida sweet pork burritos and BYU creamery spicy french fries. That's why he's so friendly.
Do you see the resemblance?

Thinking about genetics as an interested amateur, I think (correct me if I'm wrong, geneticist) that some parts of me can be traced to long-gone ancestors without those traits being physically present in any ancestors between--because of genetic recombination, or crossover.(I was thinking about this more, and recombination explains genetic diversity, not the latency of a trait for generations and generations. I guess what I'm really wondering if whether some of my traits are an exact, non-modified inheritance from a distant ancestor.) Some trait that didn't manifest until it got to me and finally had a turn to be dominant. Like what if I have the earlobes of my great great great great (etc.) grandpa, Chief Wampanoag, the guy who brought popcorn to the first Thanksgiving. Right Mom? Or maybe my fingernails came over from England with my ancestors on the Mayflower. My fingernails and my earlobes were at the first Thanksgiving together and they didn't even know it!

I just realized this picture has nothing to do with what I'm talking about.

As for Graham, I know that his eyebrows come from his dad (who gets them from where?), and his fourth toe (the one next to the pinky toe--the ring toe? The one who didn't get roast beef?) is just like mine, with the nail off-center and a bit crooked. 

What about personality traits? How much of those are inheritable? As a family scientist (that's what my degree makes me, I think ... that or a preschool teacher), I know that nurture and nature are difficult to figure out. For example, did you know political liberalism or conservatism could be inherited? So I wonder, will Graham inherit the steady strength of his Grandpa Bryce? The kindness of his Grandma Dana? The fun sense of humor of his Grandma Hamson? (so weird to type that.) The work ethic his Grandpa Hamson?

I think it's common to think, "Wow, I'm half my mom and half my dad." But do you ever think about how you're 1/4 of each grandparent? And if you add the genetics spin into that, technically it would be possible to be a combination of only your grandmothers (if you're a girl). That would make me a Mavourabeth. Or an Elizareen.

Four generations!

I'm excited that I share so much genetic heritage with my family, and now with Graham. And I'm in awe at all the things he needs to inherit that didn't come to him in a tidy little genome package. Values, skills, knowledge, a testimony, so many things that I need to help him learn. It is intimidating, but inspiring. Being entrusted with such a huge responsibility makes me want to be so much better. Nathan and I contributed the blueprint, and now we have to help make the little guy into the man he's supposed to be.


  1. My thoughts when I saw the two pork burritos: "I love my life."

  2. When we came to visit Graham Krista referred to him as a little burrito. For some reason it mortally offended Elijah that she would refer to your beautiful baby as a wrapped bean sandwich. I had to explain to him that it was a perfectly ok thing to call a baby cause they are all wrapped up. The fact that you just compared a pic of Graham to an actually burrito made me laugh out loud. Ahh I wonder if poor Elijah will ever understand the weirdness our family seems to all share lol


Comments make my day.