My Brown-Eyed Girl by
(306 Stories)

Prompted By The Eyes Have It

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My Brown-Eyed Girl

I wear reading glasses, and have had the requisite cataract surgeries,   yet over the years I haven’t given much thought to my eyeglasses or to my changing vision.   But I have thought about the color of my eyes.

In Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical masterpiece Carousel, the carnival barker Billy Bigelow soliloquizes about his unborn baby,

My boy Bill,  he’ll be tall / And as tough as a tree / Will Bill!”

And like Billy Bigelow,  and all expectant parents I’m sure,  when I was pregnant I thought about what my baby would look like.  My woman’s intuition told me she’d be a girl,  and she’d have dark curls like mine when I was an infant,  and of course my brown eyes.   (Although my husband Danny has blue eyes,  I remembered from bio class that the blue eye gene is recessive.)

And in memory of Danny’s late father Naftali we decided we’d name her Nina, and since in Spanish – my husband’s first language –  “nina”  means little girl,  we thought it a perfect name for our new daughter!

As Danny drove me to the hospital on the morning I went into labor,  we reviewed what we’d learned in Lamaze class,   and were excited about the prospect of giving me and the baby the benefit of a natural childbirth.   As we arrived at the hospital I sang to my soon-to-be little Nina,

“My brown-eyed girl / And you,  my brown-eyed girl!”

But things don’t always go according to plan.

In the labor room the doctor told me the baby was in breech position and hadn’t turned,   and thus I’d need a Cesarian.  I was wheeled to the OR,  the anesthesiologist put me out,  and I have no memory of the delivery.   But thankfully at 8 lb 3 oz the baby was healthy and bouncing,  and that’s all that counts!

By the way,  it was a boy,  we named him Noah,  and his eyes are blue.   (See Cookies and Milk)

– Dana Susan Lehrman 

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Babies, Eyes
Characterizations: funny, right on!, well written


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Yes, things don’t always go as planned, Dana.

    “And you won’t see nobody dare to try/ To boss him or toss him around!”

    So brown-eyed Nina, turned out to be blue-eyed Noah, but you loved him as dearly and it all turned out well.

  2. Khati Hendry says:

    You did a nice of job of building the story and bringing out the twists at the end—made me smile. It sounds as if you adapted well to the surprises too.

  3. Dave Ventre says:

    I always love a Van Morrison reference! And Nina is such a pretty name.

    I used to call my college GF “Maria” my brown-eyed girl, as Van’s music was why we first came together.

  4. Marian says:

    How cute, Dana, and although the baby wasn’t exactly what (or who) you expected, you obviously delighted in having Noah, blue eyes and all.

  5. Suzy says:

    I have always felt that Van Morrison was singing to me on that song! How funny that you were so sure you were having a brown-eyed daughter and you ended up with a blue-eyed son. Surprised you didn’t try again for Nina.

  6. John Shutkin says:

    Lovely story, Dana. I loved the twist and, as noted, you leaving the punchline to literally the last word. Of course, by then we knew there would be a happy ending, regardless of eye color. And, as Frank Sinatra probably would have noted, nothing wrong with blue eyes.

  7. Laurie Levy says:

    Love the reference to the beloved song of all brown-eyed girls out there, Dana. A fun read. My first two children looked like my blue-eyed husband, although their eye color was more hazel. Third time was a charm — got my brown-eyed girl!

  8. Lovely story, Dana. And about blue eyes and recessive genes: those who “triumph” over genetics and possess them are more than different, they are exceptional. I have three older sisters. Two, like me, and both parents, have brown eyes. Those two sisters and I are also perfect HLA matches, which came in handy when one developed leukemia. We always thought of the other sister, Suzie, as a mutant. Blonde hair and hazel eyes. Thank God for exceptions.

  9. Our guess as to how our babies will look, and how they will be, and how everything else will be for that matter, are generally blowin’ in the wind. I loved Nina as a name, and Noah too, and both brown eyes and blue. Thinking about the miracle of reproduction (the time-tested miracle of reproduction) makes the sunny morning I am staring at even sunnier.

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