Gene wanted a son but what he got was Nancy and Frances.
He made do, teaching Frances to ride and shoot,
Taking her hunting and fishing.
She glowed in the light of his attention.
Years later, Charley came along -- a son at last.
Frances was deposed and returned to her mother's orbit.
"Pretty don't hurt," her mother said,
As Frances struggled with high heels and girdles,
Longing for those carefree tomboy days.
(Tampa, Florida -- late Twenties -- my husband's aunt, grandfather, and mother.)