Although Alan Jenkins ’13 is convinced that he is different from all of his friends because he is a test tube baby, his mother was determined yesterday to let him know that his fragile, 25 mL glass body has nothing to do with it.
“Alan is no different from his friends because my husband and I did not conceive him in a traditional manner,” stated Phoebe Jenkins, “or because we bought him from a chemist. We love him just the same.”
Alan, however, was particularly sensitive to the fact that, unlike other parents, his parents had to pay a large sum of money for him to exist, despite Phoebe and Phillip calling him the “best five dollars we ever spent.”
“Alan used to feel so isolated around the time his middle school started teaching sex-ed,” his mother added. “The schools just never taught about all the different types of conception. Teachers will teach kids about sex, but for some reason they won’t touch a glass factory with a ten foot pole.”
“Kids need to know where they come from, so they can feel normal and bond with their peers,” said Mr. Jenkins. “We were firm. We told him that even though Mommy and Daddy tried very hard, they had to find a doctor who could produce the 1,575 degrees Celsius necessary to melt glass and create him.”
Yet Alan still worries about lingering effects of being a test tube baby, such as being at high risk of genetic disorders. Mr. Jenkins constantly reassures him that no disease can or will surface, considering their family’s healthy history and Alan’s lack of a beating heart.
“I’m just sad that he never talked to us about things like this before,” he whispered, clasping his hand over the top part of Alan. “It’s like he doesn’t trust me. Or he has no mouth. Well, not one where words come out of, anyway.”