Monday, April 25, 2011

The Bluest Eye

We are a brown eyed family. By "we" I mean my mom, dad, brother, sister, and me. All of us. My dad's eyes seemed to have grown greener his whole life, and my sister's eyes are definitely at the golden end of the brown spectrum. But my mom, brother, and I all have just plain brown eyes. Dark brown.

Then my brother, sister, and I all married blue-eyed spouses. So there is this kind of running competition in our family to see who can produce a blue-eyed child. The background is this:

My maternal grandparents had eyes like this:

My paternal grandparents had eyes like this:

So on both sides of our family tree, we have one brown-eyed grandparent (B = dominant) and one blue/green-eyed grandparent (b = recessive). So if you remember your 9th grade biology class, the genetics chart for my own parents looks like this IF they both inherited that recessive gene from their light-eyed parent:

So they technically had a 1:2 chance of having blue or green eyed kids. None of us did. But that recessive gene could have showed up with further children or not at all. The question is, did they CARRY the recessive gene? Yes. (The evidence is below). But do my siblings and I? That remains to be seen.

Our own genetic charts (me, Jennie, Ben, together with our spouses) look like this if we carry the recessive gene from those light-eyed grandparents: That would mean I would, in theory, have a 1:2 chance of having a light-eyed child.

But if I didn't inherit that recessive gene from my light-eyed grandparents, my genetic chart would look like this: Meaning, if I don't carry that recessive gene, it doesn't matter that I married a blue-eyed man. My kids will have zero chance of having blue or green eyes.

Why does it matter? I guess it doesn't. Only, I'd like some variety. Roughly 9/10 of the world or more has brown eyes. They're just so...redundant. And in my case, the color is so static. I love that light-eyed people--be it green, blue, grey or hazel--have such variety to their eye color, such depth. Me? Just straight, plain, poop brown. So for the sake of interest, as well as the sake of phenotypical variety, (I just love finally using words I learned in junior high and have had zero use for until now), I'd really like a blue eyed child.

So, here is how the eye color for our family has turned out so far:

My Sister Jennie - brown, becoming more golden with time. This picture doesn't really show it.
Mr. Jennie - blue
Their kids...
India - brown
York - brown
Finn - the greenest of the brown-eyed grandkids. Would you even call his eyes brown? Or green? Hazel?
Arabella - brown
Adelaide - blue!
Jasper - Brown

My Brother Ben - brown
Nicki - blue
Their kids...
James - brown, but definitely greenish
Avery - brown
Briella - brown


Me - brown
Big Daddy - blue
Our Kids...
Daphne - golden brown
Beck - brown
# 3 ????


Did you catch it in there??? The ONE AND ONLY blue eyed child? My sister Jennie's 5th child, Adelaide, has blue eyes. So Jennie for sure has that recessive gene. Which means one or both of my brown-eyed parents carried it and passed it on. Did my brother get it? Did I? I don't know. But it should be noted that Briella's and James's eyes--my brother's kids--were both very blue for quite a long time when they were small. You'd have sworn they would end up being blue-eyed kids. My daughter Daphne also had very green eyes until she was 2 or 3 and now they're golden-ish brown. I wonder if this hints to there being a recessive gene for both of us?

There is only one way to know. And it rests in the eyes of the child I carry. If her eyes are blue or green, I will know my gene is a Bb. If not, I will never know, because I'm pretty sure she will be our last child. So if you believe in God, PRAY. Pray with all your might for the eyes of my child to be blue. If you don't believe in variety or interest, at least do it for the sake of my curiosity.


Koreena said...

You never know! I mean who would've thought that I'd get a blue-eyed kid??? I knew Dan had the recessive trait since his mom has blue eyes, and I knew my parents both carried the recessive gene since I have 2 sisters with blue eyes even though my parents have brown, but there was no way to know that I somehow carried that gene too. I hope you get a little blue-eyed beauty!

Kristina P. said...

Very interesting! My entire family has blue eyes. Every one of us. Adam also has blue eyes. Not sure about all his siblings.

Hildie said...

I think it's sympolic of how dominant we are in general. Our eyes simply follow suit. SAdly.

Charlie N. Holmberg said...

I recall York and Finn having brown eyes, but in those pictures they look hazel.

I like brown eyes. At least on my men. Which is why I married one with brown eyes. (Not the only reason, of course.)

All of the girls in my family inherited my dad's green eyes and shafted my mom's blue-gray. But both of Danny's daughters have blue eyes (I think her husband has blue...)

I'm telling you this because I know you care. XD

Heather said...

Most babies are born with blue grey eyes aren't they? And they don't settle on a color for like 6-9 months. How frustrating, you'll have to wait that much longer to see if they are blue and stay that way!

Mrs. O said...

I have green eyes and my husband has hazel.
His mom has a sort of gray/green, and his dad brown. My mom has hazel and my dad has the bluest of blues.

I have one son and a daughter with hazel eyes, one son with very blue eyes, one daughter with gray/blue, and the youngest has chocolatey brown eyes.

Here's hoping you get your blue eyed baby. :)

Michelle Glauser said...

I loooove that you did this! I should try it out with my family. My dad, his parents, and all his siblings have brown. My mom's family all have blue, and only 1/6 children in my family has brown eyes.

Financial Aid for College said...

Give it up, Arianne! You will have a brown eyed child. Your eyes are not plain brown, and certainly not "poop" brown. They are darkest, most mysterious, deep and fathomless brown! They are truly beautiful.

Of course I would LOVE another blue eyed granddaughter, but you don't look like you have a recessive blue in your whole body. I will gladly cheer if I'm wrong.

Too bad English doesn't have a glorious word for dark brown. It has tons of descriptions for every other gradation of eye-color. But a pure deep brown like yours is as rare and striking as a pure blue like Big Daddy's

Megan said...

Holy Crap, that's a lot of work you've put into the eye thing. Good Luck! I managed to get a brown eyed, a blue/green eyed and a very blue eyed.

Can you figure it out for my family now... Actually I want to know for hair color. I am olive skinned with dark hair and dark eyes. How did I end up with a pasty blue eyed, blondie?

P.S. I want younger skin! Looking at all the close ups make me miss my youthful skin!

Chelsea said...

It's so interesting, isn't it? My parents both have dark brown eyes and brown hair, and 3 out of their 6 kids got blue eyes and blond hair. I only have one grandparent with blue eyes and blond hair.