A daughter is sometimes a blessing and sometimes a curse. It depends on how one views the situation. If it is a childless couple who have love and money to share, they would view it as a blessing. If a daughter is in the hands of a poor couple with many children, then it might as well be a curse. Or for a couple who wanted a boy instead. Either way, people would see it as a curse. But for the Curtis family, it was a blessing. Darrel Curtis Sr. and his wife Susan found out they were expecting another child on December 15th, 1949.
The couple had already been blessed with two children. Each one of them had been boys. The first was Darrel Curtis Jr. Being the firstborn, he’d gotten the family name. Sodapop was the next brother. Their father (being an original person) gave the names to his sons. He loved them both with all of his heart, as did their mother. But somewhere inside their minds- the family wanted a daughter.
Darry wouldn’t admit it to his parents. They might’ve gotten upset because (in his mind) they couldn’t care for another child. He was already sharing a room with Sodapop. He thought it would be too much for another sibling in the family. But his parents did want a daughter- especially his mother. She wanted someone to bake with, plant with and just love. But on the day stated before, the couple was excited to tell their sons the great news.
“How are we gonna tell Darry and Soda?” Susan asked her husband.
Darrel thought for a moment. He knew Darry might not be as thrilled as his parents were. And Sodapop (being two) wouldn’t understand the whole situation. It was just ten days before Christmas- the perfect idea came to his mind. The couple decided to wait to tell the news to their sons. The boys’ favorite holiday came a lot sooner when the parents were planning. As the boys unwrapped their gifts, the parents awaited to tell the boys their little secret. Finally (when all the gifts had been unwrapped) it was time for another surprise.
“Boys,” their father told them,” we have another surprise for you.”
“Your father and I found out,” she smiled to them,” that we’re going to have another baby.”
Silence was the only response given. Darry only showed emotions of being shocked, but Sodapop was confused. The parents thought their first son was upset (but they expected Soda’s reaction). Maybe this wasn’t the best time to have a child. As the parents stood up, Darry spoke with a smile on his face.
“Is it a girl?” he asked quickly.
“We-we don’t know yet,” Susan said, quickly being hugged by her son.
“I hope it is,” he said, confessing how he’d wanted a sister a while ago.
The parents were thrilled for their son’s excitement. Sodapop still didn’t understand the situation yet. But he went along with it, smiling and hugging his parents. All throughout the day, the happiness never seemed to go down. Darry was just too excited to see his new sibling.
Months had passed ever since the secret was spilled. Darry had a lot of girl names on his mind. Some were loved by his parents, others were forgotten about. But whatever the gender of the child, he was going to be happy with his new sibling. Finally, on July 15th, the couple was going to deliver their new child. Before they left, Sodapop clung to his mother skirt.
“Don’t leave Mommy,’ he sputtered out, trying not to cry.
“Mommy will be home soon, sweetie,” she said, hugging her sons.
Darrel made his oldest in charge of his brother. Just until he returned home from the hospital. He helped his wife into the car and drove off. Sodapop started to cry on the couch. He was worried his parents weren’t going to return. Darry grew worried and hugged his little brother close to him. The crying didn’t cease until he spoke.
“Don’t worry Soda,” his older brother said,” Mom and Dad will be back. And they’re gonna bring home another baby. Just like a year ago- when you were born.”
Darry explained the entire situation to Sodapop. Soon, the younger boy began to understand everything that was going on. He became excited to find out his parents weren’t leaving him. The next few hours were spent on the couch, watching the tv. Their dad walked in, too tired to say a word. But he tucked his boys into their beds that night, hearing all of Darry’s questions.
“Is it a girl?” Darry asked,” Or is it a boy? What does the baby look like? What did you name-?”
“Why don’t we go visit your mom and the baby tomorrow?” his father asked.
The boys nodded their heads, trying to get some sleep. Sodapop fell asleep in an instant. It was Darry that had the most trouble sleeping. He couldn’t wait to see his new sibling in the morning. Somewhere around 11 and midnight, the boy fell into a deep sleep.
“And we’re going to visit the baby in a little bit,” Darry said excitedly .
Darry close friend, Paul, was sitting on the swings with him. The dark haired boy kept mentioning how excited he was to see his new sibling. Paul only had a sister about Sodapop’s age. He was never as thrilled about siblings as Darry was. As the two talked on, the Curtis car pulled in. The boy waved to his blonde friend and hopped into the car. His father and brother smiled at him, excited to see the new baby born into the Curtis family.
They drove down the roads of Tulsa, turning into a parking lot. The hospital was bigger on the outside than it was inside. The father picked up Sodapop and held Darry’s hand. The boys walked up the stairs past the people. Darry didn’t like hospitals- they were upsetting. The dying people weren’t the prettiest sight. He hopped seeing the birth of children was the only thing he was in a hospital for. The youngest boy buried his head into his father’s shoulder. Darrel held his son closer as they approached a room.
Mrs. Curtis hugged her sons and kissed her husband. A nurse came into the room with a baby in her arms. Pink blankets- they had a daughter! Darry’s eyes teared up as he was handed the small girl. Blue eyes stared at the boys eyes. Tufts of light brown hair were upon her small head. She looked like the perfect image of Darrel and Susan Curtis. A sister- something Darry had really wanted in his life- was in his arms.
“Thank you,” the oldest whispered under his breath.
The baby girl held onto his finger. At that moment, Darry felt he and his sister would get along well. Sodapop held his sister’s tiny fingers together. Looks like he wasn’t the youngest anymore. But it didn’t matter. If Darry was happy, so was his younger brother. The parents smiled as their sons interacted with their new sister. Finally, the mother spoke up.
“Why don’t you pick a new name out for your sister?” she asked.
Darry felt the shock grow in his eyes. He would get to name his new sister? He hugged his mother, looking back at the baby. What would he name her? She was a precious, tiny little one. Little one...a perfect nickname for his sister. But not the perfect real name for her. Finally, one popped into his mind.
“How about Nancy?” he asked,” like grandma?”
Susan smiled at her mother being mentioned. It was the perfect name for her little girl. Sodapop looked around, blurting out another name. Marie- it would be used as her middle name. Nancy Marie Curtis- the little one to Darry and Sodapop. The one born on July 15th,1950.
Years since Nancy was born, things had been changing. A year after the girl was born, another sibling had entered their life. Ponyboy Michael Curtis was the final addition to the Curtis family. Another son to the family. Darry had to explain the situation to his sister like he did to Sodapop. She understood as much as her older brother did. The three siblings were excited for another baby. He would be a perfect addition to the family.
Nancy was growing older each day. Her first steps were to Darry, first word was his name and all her love seemed to go to him. Even though she loved her parents more than anything- it seemed Darry was the most admired. He was the oldest sibling after all. She cared for him the most.
And yet through the love, the best days would fade into the worst.