Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is Chocoholism Genetic?

Upon retrieving a half-full bag of M&Ms from her candy basket, Sophie walked past me on her way to the living room, clutching it to her chest and said,

"Praise God!"

I dislike chocolate quite a bit. This wasn't always the case because I have fond memories of sitting on my parents' front step while in high school and munching through a bag of M&Ms with my best friend while we contemplated life and watched the world go by.

My husband considers my dislike of the confection near blasphemy because my father (and I for that matter) was born in France and my mother in Belgium; two nations filled with chocoholics.

When we adopted Sophie we were faced with many genetic unknowns that other families don't face. For instance; like my parents, my eyes stayed sharp and clear through my youth and young adulthood. Now that I'm approaching 50 and use the computer, I am following in my parents' footsteps and wearing glasses; sometimes. My hair is graying late in life; like my parents. My two center bottom teeth overlap; just like my mother's do.

We have the joy of surprise with Sophie. None of these little things are knowns for her. As each appears, it will be a fun discovery for all of us. We only have the evidence of straight, even baby teeth to go on as we wonder what her adult teeth will be like. We have no idea if she'll have a tremendous singing voice or will be relegated to the shower. All we know for now is that she loves to sing (and that's good enough for us).

Another thing we know is that Sophie loves chocolate. Sophie adores chocolate. Our daughter is a chocoholic. It turns out that chocoholism must be genetic because she sure didn't develop the love from us. Before she came along the most chocolate we would have in the house was a tube of chocolate chip cookie dough, which Doug would eat before I could even bake cookies.

While those who don't know that Sophie is adopted think that she got her dark eyes and hair from me and her tallness from her father, they'll also think that this chocolate addiction skipped a generation and she has it directly from her grandparents. You see, both of them are avid lovers of the stuff.

In fact, if you ask Doug, he'll share with you a story in which my father looked very much like Sophie; clutching a bag of chocolate that had been given to him at church as a Christmas present and making a beeline for the exit so he could enjoy the confection in the privacy of his home office. Trust me, we never saw a morsel of it.

Is the love of chocolate genetic? If you look at me and my father, the answer is no. If, however, you look beyond the scientific bond to the love bond, the answer is definitely yes. I think Papa and Meme loved chocolate into little Sophie. That's a good thing.