Daughters are ‘scary good’

Published 9:50 am Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The man formerly known as “Big Dave” (big, of course, before he lost a lot of weight) got me thinking upon reading his editorial column last week.

In case you missed Saturday’s edition, “Big Dave” – aka David Friedman, formerly of Lewiston, now residing near Wilmington – wrote about the gender test recently performed on his pregnant wife. He and Dawn will soon be the proud parents of a bouncing baby boy.

Dave informed his readers of the relief he experienced upon learning that news. He also made sure not to offend the fairer sex by proclaiming he would have been just as happy for his wife to bear a daughter, but the thought of helping to raise a girl was, in his words, “scary.”

I guess it’s safe to say that all men, upon making the transition to fatherhood, would prefer raising a son. It’s a guy thing….the thought of teaching your son how to throw a curveball, skin a buck, run a trout line; and teaching them the finer points about women. Male babies also assist in keeping the family surname alive.

Those thoughts entered my mind now over 25 years ago when my wife first broke the news that she was “with child.” I was giddy about having a son, passing along all those things to him that my father taught me.

Deborah and I didn’t want to know the gender of our child until he or she was born. That was revealed at around 2 a.m. on the morning of July 21, 1985 when Danielle Rae Bryant made her presence first known. She was screaming at the top of her lungs when I first laid eyes on my child….the OB nurses at Roanoke-Chowan Hospital were sticking a diaper on one end and a bottle of milk in the other.

For me, it was love at first sight. Was I disappointed that I had a daughter rather than a son…heck no. Someone could have lined up a small army of male babies and told me to take my pick in exchange for my infant daughter and I would have flatly refused the offer.

“Big Dave” you don’t know what you’ll be missing. Daughters are not really all that scary, but they, as members of the female gender, are a bit tougher to understand.

Dave will miss the Barbie doll craze; playing dress-up; watching the Disney movie “Cinderella” a thousand times; or that sweet little whisper in your ear – “I love you, daddy” – words that melt the heart of even the toughest man.

He will not remember the day that your little girl made the amazing transformation into being a young lady, a beautiful creature that only someone of a greater power than you or I could create.

And then there are the tears…tiny little droplets streaming down the face of your little girl, no matter what her age, that leaves your heart breaking. Those are life’s “growing moments” for both the parent and their child, ones that teach both valuable lessons that will prove priceless later in life.

While yet to experience this particular part of having a daughter, one day it will be my duty to escort Danielle to the alter, giving her to another man (only after he promises to love her as much as I have; if not, I’ll become his worst nightmare).

“Big Dave” Friedman may be right that girls are scary, but they’re scary good!

Good luck to Dave and Dawn as they raise their son. You can envy me later.

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be reached at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal