Thanks, Mom! Courtesy of Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Yes, folks, today is a day to recognize and appreciate our dear mothers for all they have done for us. The love, protection, and nurturing; the bedtime stories, kissed boo-boos, and bail money. While quaint, I will leave these precious maternal gifts for others to celebrate. As a male (despite being raised as a girl by my own mom, DNA testing subsequently confirmed the vague outlines of a Y chromosome), I am particularly thankful for some very specific motherly blessings.

For example, without mothers we men would lack X chromosomes, making it impossible for us to inherit hemophilia and other wonderful “x-linked” diseases. Don’t even get me started on color blindness—a gift that keeps on taking! Note: I myself, while not strictly color blind, have color agnosia. I know the colors are there but choose to ignore them, particularly when coordinating my outfit for the day. In high school, this led to my being voted “Most Likely To Become a Member of British Parliament.” Winning, my good sirs and madames. Winning.

Onwards in our Mother’s Day ruminations to the mitochondria, the “powerhouse” of the cell, or so my 10th grade science teacher once proclaimed (he has since “broken bad,” I am told). Turns out they come from Mom too! No mitochondria, no ATP. Without ATP, Hulk Hogan could never have bodyslammed Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania. And without that seminal event of my childhood, I would never have become the self-confident yet vaguely neurotic adult I am today. The steel cage match owes you a debt, mother! As does Koko B. Ware.

So as I gingerly comb out the 3 or 4 remaining hairs on the top of my scalp (male pattern baldness…another generous gift of the maternal lineage), I wistfully think of mom on this day of appreciation. I can’t wait to call her!

She has a LOT of explaining to do.


In the meantime, enjoy this bit of Mother’s Day nostalgia: