I’ve been sitting on some news for a few months that I’m ready to share with the world at large. It’s big news for me and my family. And that is, after years of trying...my wife Kendall is pregnant! And not just pregnant but…wait for it…we’re having TWINS! Oy! The little whippersnappers are twelve weeks along as of today, and quite cute. Well, if you consider three-inch long fetuses who bear a striking resemblance to the aliens in “Close Encounters” cute! Pretty amazing to see those little hearts beating furiously and to know that (unlike ours) there’s a good chance those same hearts will be beating well into the twenty-second century. Yikes!
I’m thinking of legally changing my name to Tony Randall. To those of you who don’t get the reference, Randall was 77 when his first child was born, 78 when the second one came. Okay, fine, I’m not that old. I’m managing to squeak in these remaining progeny while still in my forties (I’ll turn 50 a month later) so I guess I’m not quite a candidate for the Guinness Book of World Records. But sometimes, when I imagine what it will be like to have not one but two infants in the house again, it feels so unreal that I expect the news crews to arrive at our door to interview the World’s Most Ancient New Father. Still, I should stop with the Tony Randall comparisons. His kids were both under 10 when he died at the age of 84. I plan to be around to torment these children until they’re at least well into their forties!
Needless to say, we’re completely thrilled and excited…and terrified. Most people we’ve told have been very happy for us and very supportive—but many feel the need to remind us over and over that once those babies come we’ll never sleep again, never go to a movie or restaurant, never have a moment to ourselves, and basically give up any semblance of life as we know it today. Poppycock. Okay, part of me knows that what these folks are saying is absolutely true but Kendall and I are in that necessary phase of denial that all prospective parents go through. Thank God for it—otherwise the planet would have emptied out generations ago. Some people think we’re nuts for bringing more children into a world with a hemorrhaging economy and so many other ills. But again, if people only had kids when times were good, we’d have achieved Zero Population Growth just after the Declaration of Independence was signed. At least Kendall and I waited until George W. Bush cleared out of Washington, I’m glad these kids will be born during an Obama administration. Should we follow the slew of Kenyan couples who have already named their babies Barack and Michelle (no, we don’t know the sex yet). The good news about having kids later in life is that you DON’T expect things to be so perfect or easy. You can anticipate the many joys that are to come while also being aware of the challenges and the times when we will be at wit’s end with those babies and with each other.
When Leah was born I was 35 and I put so much pressure on myself to be the Perfect Dad. I had to do everything RIGHT and if anything veered from how I thought it was supposed to be I freaked out and berated myself mercilessly. Now, raising a teenager and having two more babies on the way I have no such delusions. I know I’m veeeeeerrrry far from perfect, that I’ve made a ton of mistakes in my parenting and will no doubt make a ton more. Sure, I’ll do the best I can and I think I’ve learned a lot during the past 14 years, but these days it feels much more comfortable to recognize my faults and idiosyncrasies instead of setting myself up for guaranteed failure.
Don’t worry, people. This is not going to become a pregnancy blog or a parenting blog or a daddy blog (not that there’s anything wrong with those things). But since we made it through the first trimester I wanted to share this humungous event that’s happening in our lives with you all and be able to discuss it on here when I feel like it. Keeping it on the down-low was a pain in the ass. I walked into a Christmas party one day last month and my brother-in-law congratulated me. “What for? What for?” asked a guest who overheard. I was caught so off guard that instead of giving this woman any one of a million plausible responses, I stammered like a lunatic, hemmed and hawed, and then shouted “NOTHING!” and ran out of the room. Oy. Besides, it takes a village—why wouldn’t we want our various communities to know this happy news? I’ll be accepting babysitting applications online and if things get really insane, maybe we can auction off one of the twins on eBay. We accept PayPal and all major credit cards. JUST KIDDING, authorities!
Kendall and I can’t wait to hold those babies in our arms. But I’m nowhere near finished freaking out. The other day I was emailing our rabbi and I stopped to figure out when the twins would be having their Bar or Bat Mitzvahs. 2022?! Surely, I made a mistake, that couldn’t be right. I must have added 2009 + 13 ten different times before I could accept that my arithmetic was correct. 2022? Shall I bring my jet pack or my walker to the ceremony? Paging Tony Randall! Tony Randall! Will Tony Randall please come to white courtesy phone? I need you!