…and speaking of dna and my mother…

… two things:

1) when my mother went to university, she was in her late twenties, an elementary skool teacher who’d failed high school, and had already been married and divorced once (not my dad: he was #2). as an english major at the university of toronto, she had to take one science course. since she’d always been into plants and animals, my mom opted to study biology.

what she didn’t know was that in the decade since she’d taken basic biology in high school, watson and crick had come up with this crazy thing called dna. though their hypothesis of the double helix structure was launched in 1953, it wasn’t taught at the high school level for another 8 or 10 years. so. it was 1969, and there was my mom, only ten years older than her classsmates, but a lifetime behind in biological theories. talk about a steep learning curve.

2) the real amazing thing about my mom falling while skating on the rideau canal isn’t that a 66 year old woman would be out frolicking on 7 km of ice, it’s that she didn’t break any bones. like my grandmother before her, my mom has osteoporosis, a brittleness of the bones that i too will inherit. damn that dna! so when i’m old, not only will i be skating, solving sudoku puzzles, and talking ’bout biotech, i’ll also have an intense hunchback. hot, hey?

those genes aren’t all bad, though… even with our crappy bones, the women in my family tend to be very active well into their 9th decade. it’s nice to think that i’ve got another 70 years to stop fucking everything up…


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