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Mindless Procreation 2: A Look in the Mirror

by Sean Croxton

Where do babies come from?

Ever since the books I read as a child led me to believe that I was delivered into this world dangling from the beak of a stork, I’ve been fascinated by that critical question. The idea of soaring through the sky wrapped in a tiny blanket to descend upon the outstretched arms of my jubilant mother and father on cloud nine left an indelible impression on my young mind. Made with love. Delivered by bird.

At some point, the birds and the bees took over for the stork. Exactly why sex and reproduction always had something to do with winged creatures still has me stumped. But eventually, the metaphors passed and the miracle of life turned real. There was no flying this time, just a whole lot of swimming. One lucky sperm penetrates a single egg, a union begetting new life on the horizon.

Conception to delivery was a complicated journey. Cells divided and differentiated; mitosis, meiosis, the stuff I learned in eighth grade science class and still don’t fully understand. It’s no wonder they made up that stork story. Reproduction can be rocket science.