At least once a day, Cam’s questions strike me as being really smart questions and often enough, they are beyond me and I readily admit it. At which point, we either turn to google (by “we” I mean Cam: “okay Google, show me a video of how ants lift more than their own weight!”… real question from a couple days ago) or debate the possibilities.
Tonight, for our lights-out chat before bedtime, things got deep pretty quickly based on Cam’s line of thinking and I had a moment where I felt like he sparked profoundness. I know kids, with their unique perspectives, do make adults really think, but this really got my mind spinning.
Here is how it went.
Cam: mom, I don’t think you got the whole splinter out. Can I just wait until it comes out?
Me: well, as long as it isn’t from treated wood or a tree that has oils that will cause your skin to react, I guess you could just wait. It’s usually not a good idea to have something foreign in your body.
Cam: what does foreign mean?
Me: in this case, foreign means it doesn’t belong as a natural part of the body.
Cam: but food belongs in the body and it’s foreign.
Me: well, I guess that means it is foreign, but when you eat it, it becomes a part of you.
Cam: so if you eat a donut, do you become a donut?
Me: actually, kinda, yeah, you do. Do you want me to explain what I mean?
Thus started a long conversation about how food is a major driver of your how your genes express… you can eat a donut and tell your genes to do one thing, or you can eat something else, like a bright alive strawberry, and tell your genes to do something else and over time it has an effect on how you could feel and how you might look. He seemed interested, so I attempted to explain all the things I’ve learned in the last 6 years in 7-year old terms and in the span of a few minutes. No sweat, right?
He asked follow up questions, like “does that mean cheese isn’t so great?” I responded with my thoughts on that, and naturally, Cam responded he will definitely have happy roaming cows when he grows up. No surprise for the animal-obsessed guy that he is.
I hope I kept it light enough and accurate enough for his bright mind to interpret as he wishes, but I couldn’t help but just see how far he would guide the conversation.
It was all fascinating to me, and at the end of the day, I have never in my life thought of food that way– that it starts as foreign and then becomes native to the body. It’s so profound in its simplicity. A different take on ‘you are what you eat’ but something that considers it more intimately… it almost makes you think twice about what foreign things you welcome or allow to become part of you. I guess it’s the marketer in me that is obsessing over this incredibly smart reframing of an existing idea.
He teaches me every day!
That was quite enough for bedtime talk though. Off to la la land he went.