Grit Blogs > Arrows and Minnows

Anticipating the Arrival of My Niece

By Caleb Regan, Managing Editor


Tags: family, aging, children, niece,

A portrait of the author, Caleb Regan“It’s a …”

I received this text message from my brother, Josh, earlier today while I was at work and he was either sitting in, or just leaving, a doctors’ office. A minute later, his next response came, “Girl.” My brother and his wife, Nikki, will welcome a little baby girl into their family in August, God willing, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Josh and Nikki at the wedding

Sometimes in life, we’re hit with one of those moments that make you take a step back and go, “This is going by fast.” Usually, it’s holidays and birthdays and dates that make us remember loved ones that have passed on. In this case, it’s a great feeling to be getting older.

And it felt even better to get the next message from Josh, saying, “It looked really healthy.”

There are many things that I’m looking forward to doing with my niece and her Daddy: watching football, grilling out, hunting and fishing … it turns out I don’t do a lot of the things little girls do, but you know what?! I’ll give anything a try to earn the affection of this particular little girl.

And she just might have a little tomboy in her. (Though knowing Nikki, I wouldn't count on her noodling for catfish.) After all, her dad came from a family of four boys and one girl – our mom – so I think Dad’s in about the same situation as me. We don’t know what, exactly, little girls are like.

I’ve never seen anything wrong with little girls being tomboys. My girlfriend’s siblings include her two sisters and no boys, so her dad raised her to hunt and fish. That turned out to be pretty cool for me because she understands and appreciates what I love to do.

It wouldn’t be a good thing, though, if she were better at my hobbies than me.

But I digress …

I know there’s the typical answer of playing with dolls, but for all the women out there, or for the fathers who have daughters, can I get some help? What do little girls do?

In the meantime, I’ll be thinking and praying about the health of that little, hope-she-doesn’t-look-like-her-dad, girl.


Caleb Regan and his wife, Gwen, live in rural Douglas County, Kansas, where they enjoy hunting, fishing, and raising and growing as much of their own food as they can. Caleb can’t imagine a better scenario than getting to work on a rural lifestyle magazine as a profession, and then living that same lifestyle right in the heartland of America. Connect with him on .