Wednesday, September 05, 2007

MESSING WITH THE DNA

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, about our children. AF and I discuss our kids on an almost-daily basis on the phone, and we both end the conversation with a heavy sigh.

Errant kids seem to be more the norm than the exception anymore. Children with no sense of direction who, even as adults, scream, "Mommy!!!" when they have a tummy ache. I don't know about all you other parents out there, but when I finally closed that front door on the last of mine leaving the nest, I expected to go entire days without hearing from them, maybe even an entire week.

But something happened. You know how the DNA strands are all pretty and perfect? Well, it seems that we totally fucked up the pretty colors and now have a huge chunk of gray where the pink was or something. And I think I have figured out what happened: Lead paint and mercury.

This revelation came to me as I was sitting in the bathtub recovering from my ten-hour workday, sigh, trying to talk my 27-year-old son into believing that he probably was NOT going to die from the cut on his pinkie finger, when I flipped to an article in my magazine about Mattel Toys once again pulling products made in China from shelves because of high levels of lead paint. We ate too much lead paint before we procreated. Not only eating lead paint, but breaking thermometers and rolling the mercury around on tables, as well as playing in the waste bins behind physicians' offices to see who could find the most used needles, most likely were not good choices, but who knew?

Just as not knowing how a new drug is going to affect everyone in the long-term, we did not know that gnawing on wooden toys saturated with lead-based paint was going to alter the DNA strands and effect a change in evolution. It only takes a tiny, tiny, TINY portion of gray replacing the pink to screw things up. Not only did we not know then what these hazardous materials were lurking around doing in our bodies, now we have to deal with the fact that we do not have the slightest idea what suddenly removing lead paint from the diets of children is going to do a couple of generations down the road.

When you hear me yelling, "Put every one of those grandchildren back in!!" you all will understand my concern. Hopefully my granddaughter will not be sitting at a computer blogging about what happened to cause her children to have metal heads, because hey, something has to replace the lead, right?