Copyright © 2012 Stephen Hawley, all rights reserved.
Stuart and I were talking the other day. He can roll his tongue up. I can too. He noted that neither his mom nor his sister can. “Can only boys do that?” he asked. “No, Stuart, some girls can do it and some boys can’t do it.” I responded. “Can you tell me why?” “Sure.” So I gave him a very simple explanation of genetics. Here is what I told him:
Every cell in your body comes with an instruction book in it that tells your body how to build itself. Every instruction book has 23 chapters in it. Every chapter has two parts to it. Your instruction book, somewhere in one chapter has instructions that say you can roll your tongue up. Mine too. Mommy and Alice’s instruction books don’t. In the last chapter, 23, in you and me the first part of the chapter has green pages and the second part has blue pages. That makes us boys. In mommy and Alice, both the first and second part have green pages, so they are girls.
Now Alice has a special chapter in her instruction book. In every chapter in your instruction book, there are two parts. Not in Alice’s. In hers, chapter 21 has 3 sections to it. More instructions. This determines a lot of the things that make Alice just a little different from you, but mostly you are the same.