Tuesday, December 04, 2012
You Never Know
"Mom, do you want to come snuggle with me? I'm a stem cell."
I climbed up onto his loft bed and he handed me an extra blanket.
"Here's your cell membrane. Crimson made it. He's a ribosome."
(Crimson is his stuffed dragon and best friend.)
"Do ribosomes make cell membranes?" I asked, because I frankly have no clue.
"Well, he made the amino acids."
Then followed a discussion about mitochondria that I didn't quite follow.
Finally I said, "Fair enough. Ok, so if you're a stem cell, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
"Well, I want to be a white blood cell."
"Oh, a hero, eh?"
"You realize that you might have to give your life for the cause if you become a white blood cell."
"Yes. That's OK. Oh, or I could be an osteoblast. Then I'd also be a hero."
A litte silence, then..."POP!"
"I've traveled into the blood stream. They need me and I've been called up."
"What are you?" As I'm climbing back down from the loft bed and heading out of the room.
"I'm an osteoblast."
"Oh, so the body has broken a bone."
He came into my room a few moments later claiming he needed something that involved an acronym for something that I suppose an osteoblast uses. I'm ashamed to say that I don't even know what it was. He got a drink of water and meandered back through the room.
"Back when I was a stem cell, I divided and my other half became a white blood cell. So I got both my wishes."
Now he's lying on his bed talking animatedly to his stuffed dragon, who I can only assume is still a ribosome.
When people ask me what I'm teaching my son for science, I just have to laugh. If only I knew!