Wednesday, 26 October 2011

So you think you know genetics?

When I was pregnant, one of the things I used to daydream about was what my baby boy would look like. I wondered whose eyes he would have, what his little nose would look like and if he would inherit his daddy's long eyelashes.

I was absolutely certain of one thing though. With both a mother and father who have curly dark brown hair, hazel brown eyes and olive skin, he would have the same coloring. I used to tell everyone that I had no doubt about that.

When he was born, he was little miniature version of his father. But as the days and weeks went on, he started to morph into a fair-haired, blue eyed little boy. His eyes are now big, round and a beautiful deep blue that get commented on everywhere we go. I might be biased but I think he's a pretty handsome little boy.

But he looks nothing like what I envisioned and he certainly doesn't look like my son! I look more like his nanny than his mommy. He still looks like his father but the coloring throws off the resemblance quite a bit.

Fortunately I do know where he gets these traits. He did take something from my genes, which is my mother's French-Canadian/Norwegian fair complexion and crystal blue eyes. But as it turns out, blue eyes need to be on both sides of the family in order to be passed down to your children. There are people with blue eyes in my husband's family but we're talking great-grandparents.

I was never very good at high school science but I remember being fascinated the day we talked about genes and how certain traits are passed down. Clearly I retained nothing from that day's lesson or I might not be so surprised today whenever I look at my son and think "Where did this kid come from anyway?!"

In spite of my astonishment, I think he's pretty lucky to have been blessed with the big blue eyes that I always wanted. Watch out girls of the future!

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