Where Did I Come From?

Where Did I Come From?


Letter 1

Where Did I Come From?

Hello my dear Julian!

It’s not long since you were recently welcomed into the world  – and as you’re discovering, these first years of being a tiny human being are all about endless hours of learning new things, about the world around you, and about yourself.

(That’s why I wrote this book for you. I want to help you learn. This is the book I wish I’d had, when I was so tiny and so new, like you are right now.)

When we are born ( “born” means “when we come into this world in the shape of a very tiny person”), we are very fragile. We need a lot of help – and you should know that there’s never any shame in asking for help, whatever age you are. We have no idea how to survive on our own, you see. All we do is what nature knows best: we breathe, we sleep, we eat, we cry, and of course we pee and we poop. 

This is all that your body seems to need right now (oh, and a nice blanket to keep us warm. That too.) 

It’s frustrating, and sometimes a little bit scary. It feels like we’re just laying there, helpless and dependent on everyone else. But we’re not. We’re learning. We’re learning how to  somehow become independent of that tiny warm, wet bubble we grew and lived in for nine months – inside our mum.

Yes, that’s right. Your mother made you. (And your dad too! More about that shortly.) 

But here’s the magical thing: you grew from your mother, but you aren’t your mother. You are yourself.

I know. This is all rather confusing. 

Let me try to explain.

Did you know, dear Julian, that before we are born we spend nine months in our mum’s womb? The womb is a cozy, warm pouch inside our mum’s belly where we live and grow until the day we come out into the world – just like you did exactly twelve months ago. 

But before that, you were a cell.

A cell is a tiny, tiny thing. Look at your fingertip. A cell is even smaller than that. Imagine a tiny grain of sugar on the end of your finger. A cell is even smaller. In fact, it’s one of the smallest things in the whole world. It’s so small you can’t see it, even if you look really hard. You could have millions of cells on the end of your finger and you still couldn’t see them.

It’s one of the most amazing facts of life that we all grow from these invisible, teeny-weeny cells. Over time, we get bigger and bigger, until suddenly we’re not just one cell any more, we’re a whole family of them. Then we’re a whole street of them. Then a town. Then a city. Then a world. Then a whole universe of them.

There are more cells in your body right now than all the stars in our galaxy. (A galaxy is a really big collection of stars in the sky. Imagine all the stars you can see at night, and then imagine the same number again, and then again, and again, and …)

You are a tiny universe. 

A Juli-verse.

And you grew from a cell so small that nobody could ever see it.

Cells are amazing. They somehow have the ability to organise themselves into the perfect combination, the perfect recipe, to build a human being from almost nothing. 

The big secret is – there are different types of cells. And they can all do different things.

When your first cell was made, one half belonged to your daddy and the other half belonged to your  mummy. (Those halfs were also cells. Everything is cells.) When those two halves joined together, they began to multiply. It’s like they built a little factory that made brand new cells, and then those cells built their own little cell-factories – and suddenly there were cells everywhere

And “everywhere” became You.  

 How exactly do they do this?

The answer is – well, we don’t really know. Not really. (Yes, Julian – adults are very clever, but they still don’t have all the answers.)

But here’s our best guess.

A cell is a very small collection of living things that have the ability to make more cells. In other words, cells are how things grow. (“Grow” just means “containing more cells than before.”)

Cells don’t have eyes, ears, hands or mouth, yet they can do lots of extremely clever things that we’re only just starting to understand properly. Those clever things are what makes us alive. When many cells do their job and work together, they can sustain a larger group of cells. These larger groups of cells (called systems) can also work together with even larger groups of cells, all doing different things…

You see where all this is going, right?

Suddenly, all those cells have formed a body. In your case, your body.

A body is the container for a person. It’s what we use to do things. We use our body to see and touch and smell and hear and taste (these are called the senses – more about those later) When you look down at yourself, your body is this thing you see with your eyes, this thing that you touch (sometimes even bite), that moves when you wave your arms and legs and wiggle your fingers and toes, that has a layer called skin – that thing that hurts when you fall down and scrape it or bruise it, and protects you from the outside world..

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. I know you have many, many questions. And all the answers are coming in time (and they’re all so wonderful – you’ll be amazed at how everything fits together so perfectly, the same way you fit together so perfectly to make You).

Today, just remember this: you are only at the start of your growing journey. 

But compared to the size of a cell, you are already a whole universe, my dear Julian. How far you’ve already come! Congratulations!

Now go have a nap. You’ve earned it.

With love,
Auntie Mariana

This is a blog series after my book called Dear Julian: Welcome Letters To The World. Feel free to follow the series here on the blog or buy the Kindle version on Amazon. Thanks for your support!

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