Miraculous Genetics

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Every Mother thinks her kids are perfect. I am no exception!

Submitted: June 09, 2018

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Submitted: June 09, 2018

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Miraculous Genetics

By Alexander Guinevere Kern

 

 

This is just some self-indulgent Mom Bragging. I really wrote this for my kids, who will hate it.   So be warned - just Mom Stuff.

 

I've been intrigued by genetics since I was a young girl in bifocals and gnarly braids. My parents, who were strict and authoritarian, nevertheless (mysteriously) permitted me to amass cages of critters -- hamsters, gerbils, snakes, mice, rats, Guinea pigs -- which I bred with great enthusiasm. I even produced a good, healthy line of hooded rats, which I sold to a local medical facility.

 

I'm sure my room smelled fanastic, but I have anosmia and my parents never bothered to intrude the Genetic Lab.

 

My room was a maze of Habitrail tubes, which ran under the bed, across the floor, up the walls, around the corners of the ceiling. I needed more cedar chips than my local pet store could provide.  I worked there once I turned 16 years of age.

 

Any creatures who took it upon themselves to effect escape were dispatched by the family cat. Yep, we bred those, too. We even had several dogs, a beagle and German Shepherd.

 

Nothing fascinated me more than the pursuit of certain traits in these furry darlings through careful and selective breeding.

 

When my Sunday School teacher asked our class to talk about what we were going to be/do when we grew up, I told him I intended to give birth to a bunch of babies by different men, so I could produce superior children. LOL! Imagine the look on his holy face.  I was twelve years old.

 

He shouldve listened to me. Autistic people don’t fabricate - that is too complicating and confusing for us.

 

I did what I said I would do.

 

And what did I get? Perfect children.

 

Now, of course EVERY mother expresses this very same sentiment. And yes, thank you, our children are all perfect.

 

I was telling one of the kids last week that, once you get to be my age, you realize that one of your greatest blessings is that your children are ALIVE and well and you are still alive to enjoy them. 100 years ago people routinely lost their parents while the child was barely out of their teens or earlier. My grandmother was only four years of age when her mother died of consumption (tuberculosis). My grandfather was one of 12 children, of which nine managed to reach adulthood. According to my mother, the expression used back then was, "She gave birth to 13 children, 8 of whom survived infancy."

 

"Surviving infancy" was a tricky biz back in the bad old days. My dear paternal great-grandmother, from whom I inherited my artistic talent, lost four children in one week to diphtheria.

 

Have you all met anyone who lost a child to DIPTHERIA?

 

She lost her mind and wound up in an Institution. And no wonder. They buried the children in a cross formation around a single obelisk. I have visited that grave many times.

 

My maternal grandmother was a . . . stout lady, and a great beauty. But yep really, really BIG. She went into labor and the local doctor arrived in a carriage (this was out in the country), inebriated as all get-out, and delivered her of my aunt, then staggered out the door and into the night. Unfortunately, my grandmother was in pain, partly numb, and was unaware that she had given birth to twins. My uncle was smothered to death by her bulk. The doc was unaware she was pregnant with twins and she certainly never knew. I can't see that happening today -- the story breaks my heart still.

 

Thus, Miss Kern is utterly joyful that her babies survived infancy and are now exquisite young ladies, settled and hard-working, happy and independent. The words "love" and "pride" just cannot adequately limn the nature and intensity of my feelings for them. Every mother knows what I mean.

 

Of course, just to thank me for carrying them nine months, not a one of them looks anything at ALL like me. LOL They resemble their handsome fathers, wouldn't you know it. My genes must be weak or anemic or undesirable. Heh!

 

Let me further boast, (oh, please, I'm a Mom) - my minister, with whom I've locked horns on a number of issues, earned a degree in childhood ed., and my former wacko therapist, with her high falutin Ph.D. in Psychology, were quite critical of me. Lots of condemnation and criticism because I'm eccentric and quirky and iconoclastic in all I do.

 

But Oooops! Their children are textbook case heroin addicts! Yes, its true. I could tell some stories but I will demur . . . don't desire any lawsuits. Both of them had to change the door locks and kick their kids to the curb because they were stealing any item not bolted to the floor, especially the family heirlooms, in order to sell them on the street. So they could buy MORE smack. Can you just imagine that scenario?

 

My daughters are not heroin addicts or any other sort of addict. They work diligently at their perfectly respectable careers. Not that I have anything to do with their perfect selves. I'm a delirious, lame Mother, utterly clueless and dense. As a single parent I had to work full time, sometimes two jobs, I was not often available to them, the outworking of several marital decisions I strongly regret to this day.

 

I like watching their various personality traits wiggle out of their unique gene combinations. The eldest is tall, like her father. She bears an uncanny resemblance to Jenna Elfman, and is so beautiful men stare at her in the street. She has grown severe, a true Germanic hausfrau. This personality came through directly from my great-grandfather, an M.D. in Pa. A dour, brilliant man, he was one of the principle investors of Mellon Bank.

 

Secretly the Teutonic Princess disapproves of my weirdness, but would never say so. Her house is so glistening clean I'm beginning to wonder if she ever sleeps. If there is a mote of dust or a random dog hair in that house, I'd pay to see it. Like me, she is into the hausfrau gig, she achieves it with more energy and flair. And, like Mom, she is religious. Of my three girls, she is the one with whom I feel I have the most common although she'd definitely disagree with that statement. She has no interest in art, or my writing. I'm always cracking up at something --everything seems pricelessly funny to me. That girl doesn't laugh. I say all manner of outrageous stuff to her, and she just snorts and says, "Mom, you're a card," "Mom, you're a nut," "Mom, you're a bird."

 

What does that mean? LOL!

 

The youngest is entirely perfect. She's also religious. By God, the girl is DECENT. I could introduce her to a Prince without a moment's concern. She'd never put a foot wrong in anyone's Society. She doesn't walk, she glides. I sort of galumph. I also say wacko stuff to her, including calling her by a baby nickname I KNOW she does not appreciate. But will she say one word to me in protest? NO. She fixes her gracious Grace Kelly smile and replies, "Why yes, Mother. That's very nice, Mother."

 

Never would that child be rude or disrespectful. Too well-bred. It's just bit eerie to look into eyes which are the same olive oil green as MY eyes -- the eyes of that very same great-great Doctor grandfather in Pa. Her father is, and paternal grandfather was, masculine, comely men -- her looks reeled out of that palette. She is my refined and elegant Princess, who loves to dance and shares my greed for jewels. A Prince could do much, much worse. In fact, I think she's nearly Queenly and would make a lovely Monarch.

 

And then there's the middle woman. If I called HER by a babyish nick, I would hear about it for years. At the MOST inopportune moments. LOL She has my eidetic memory and my brother's sense of strategy and timing. I don't trust many people in this world, but I do trust my middle girl. The least like her mother, she is the closest to me. Fearsomely robust, she inherited her Amazon strength from my mother. (My Mother ate Godzilla.) Her father was such a hunk people thought he should model. Middle Girl inherited my bone white skin and olive oil eyes, long eyelashes and thick hair; the rest of her looks like him. I always thought he was one of the most gorgeous men I'd ever seen. A nice selection for baby-making, if I do say so myself. And like her gypsy-blooded Mom, she has the guts and tenacity to roam around the country, getting by on practically nothing. I swear the kid is ingenious, resourceful like you cant believe.

 

She sometimes paints, so there is one child with some interest in art. But she's not shaken ablaze by the sacred fire, I fear. I used to sing in the choir, but she REALLY sings, and dances beautifully. My ex used to say she did not have my humor. Thats a riot! She's hysterically comical! Just don't . . . piss her off. This is the child who develops a dark flickering in her eyes just before she strikes. I do NOT mess with HER, you can bet.

 

One man well into the bottle at a local bar snaked her around the room, lewd, base comments sluicing out of his rubbery lips, slick with spit. She grabbed his pool stick and beat him about the body repeatedly. He yelped for the bar tender to help him, who replied, “You shouldn’t talk like that to a lady.”  He ran out of the bar!

 

My Middle Girl is now in her late 30s and owns her own company with her equally brilliant husband, and their business is . . . well, their business.

 

I have 8 Grandchildren. Bless their hearts, they seem perfectly . . . perfect.

 

It's strange to reach an age where your children are adults and have OPINIONS. Opinions they did not learn from me. The Middle Princess will deliver her opinions in the most muscular terms, never sparing my poor old feelings. But secretly, I laugh. I love her defiance and belief in herself.

 

I feel such sorrow for my children to be burdened with a not-exactly-human mother who is more Borg than Being, more Artist than Parent, more Crazy than Sentient. I really did fear one of my children would inherit the Nutzo Gene, and more thankful than I can ever express that it did not happen.

 

Maybe a great, great-grandchild will pop out wearing my face. One can only hope.

 

I often wondered what it would be like, to be the child of Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Picasso, Caravaggio. The offspring of a tainted, fragile genius.

 

But my children DO know. They just don't know it, yet.

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday, July 28, 2006


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