Friday, July 20, 2007

Blue Eyes

This may get complicated.

My sister, who is technically my half-sister, has blue eyes. Mom and Dad have brown eyes, which means they each have one recessive blue-eye gene apiece. She, therefore, had a 75% chance of being brown-eyed, and only 25% to get the eyes that she has.

I have brown eyes, like my mother. However, I had a different biological y-chromosome donor than my sister. He, as I understand, had blue eyes. So, my chances of ending up with the brown that I have were essentially 2/4, or 50%. Clearly, however, I have one recessive blue.

The missus has greenish hazel eyes. Recently, we discovered that she too has a recessive blue. How do we know this? Because the boy has blue eyes, and according to the doctor, they are going to stay that way.

Doing some quick 9th grade calculations, I determined that the boy had a 50% chance of having brown eyes, 25% of having hazelly-green, and only a 25% chance of the blue he ended up with. Like his aunt, he beat the narrow odds.

The girl, on the other hand, has my brown eyes, which leaves for later the question whether she got her mamma's green genes or blue.

Something my mother and I both noticed, though, besides the blue eyes, is that the boy seems to have inherited a number of features from my Y-side. It was starkly apparent in the first few days, and has recently re-emerged.

Now, I know that babies rarely really look like anyone, least of all their future selves, but this resemblance is uncanny. While I never really looked much like my bio-pop myself, my son, quite frankly, does.

And now I worry a bit about what he has inherited in his DNA. How much of who we are is attributable to that chemical code in our cells? How much can be loved and nurtured out of him?

Maybe the question is: "How much can be loved and nurtured INTO him?"

Yes, yes, Nature vs. Nurture, a staple topic of Pop-Philosophy 101 courses across college campuses everywhere. Truth is, most folks these days are realizing that it's both. It's a matter of doing what you can with what you have.

I suppose he did beat the narrow odds on his eye color. Maybe there's luck in those genes of his. In this world, he'll need it. (Note to self: start poker lessons as soon as possible...)


  1. Oosje2:42 AM

    He may have blue eyes...He also has his Mama and Daddy in him and I'll take bets that he will be an amazing man....a combination of his parents.

    However poker lessons are always a good thing.

  2. Hmm, where did I get a recessive blue eye gene from then?

    I have brown eyes, the girls' father has brown eyes, my oldest has blue.
    My mum has hazel and my dad brown

    Guess that makes Jess really lucky then

  3. He's ADORABLE!!

    The Husband and I both have blue eyes, I'd be in big trouble if I girls didn't as well.

    As much as I would like to believe that nurture trumps nature, I'm not always so sure when dealing with my own kiddos. They DEFINITELY have their own personalities and are totally different.

  4. There's one reason this isn't so suprising...I have blue eyes.

  5. Cute baby, is it really yours?

    1) Most white babies are born with blue eyes and it takes several months for the true color to develope. This is because they are lacking the melanin in their iris. Not trying to burst your bubble, but you will know for sure by 9 months.
    2) Because of this, your wife may not have a recessive blue gene. Knowing her parents eye color would be helpful to determine that.
    3) Your half sister that came from your mom has green eyes. Im almost positive on that one. Because of this, we cannot assume that her biological parents are heterozygous brown/blue. Again, we would have to know the grandparents eye colors but my guess is that her chances to be blue are much lower.
    4) Nuture him all you want, he is your child and will be a boozing deviant like his Dad.

    Did I mention that he is a cute kid no matter what eye color he ends up with.

  6. OK, you caught me, we bought him on ebay.

  7. I'm thinking there may be something to this "Tom" theory. Oh crap, my son has blue eyes too.

  8. eBay? Not a blue-light special at K-Mart?

    Boy am I glad we've got no such puzzle with my son, brown eyes it is, through and through. Although he DOES have a dimple on his left cheek that nobody else in the family has except MY dad...

  9. a heckler11:19 AM

    I'd say that, except for the picture of the kid, this blog post had a 75% chance of sucking from the outset. Unfortunately, Brian couldn't defy those odds.

  10. Most of my posts have a 75% chance of sucking

  11. Mrs. G&T1:13 PM

    I definitely have a recessive blue from my blue-eyed father.

  12. a heckler8:45 AM

    about 75% to be exact.


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