The family is growing.
My son Michael, along with his wife Lauren, visited at Thanksgiving and broke the news that grandchild number seven—is a boy. So far we have three boys and three girls.
They are among the newer generation who simply must find out if it is going to be a boy or girl. My wife and I, especially my wife, is old school in many ways and loves the idea of not finding out whether the new baby is a girl or boy. She said it is a man’s prize to be able to rush into the waiting room and proclaim to all the family, “IT’S A —-!!”
Or whatever it is.
We did not find out what any of our four children were until they arrived in this world, and there is a funny story about our third daughter showing up.
My wife was hard at work in labor and delivery and at the time we were still doing our best to videotape everything. At that time, precisely 1987, camera phones were still not so popular so I had one of the “improved” cameras, although still a bit bulky to hold.
We had two daughters already so as baby number three was about to show up in the world I suddenly got a phone call from my father-in-law, who actually called the labor room where my wife and I were trying to focus on the new baby in our family. That was certainly Pat’s style.
I was distracted from the video that was still playing as you can hear me on the phone, only seconds before they announced it was a girl—once again.
My reaction is still very vivid in my mind, with everyone who watched the video hearing this:
“Hello Pat, no she hasn’t had it yet. Well, I think it’s pretty close and oh, wow, oh my gosh–oh no, it’s another girl.”
That wasn’t really what I meant and I certainly didn’t mean it to come out that way. But talking to him, and still trying to film, it just sort of did. I never was so intent on whether we were going to have a boy or not—we were always happy with our two girls and we only wanted another healthy child.
So to this day my number three daughter, Vicky, can have a laugh on my behalf when she remembers that video.
Now we are up to six grandchildren, with number seven on the way, and it’s my guess it won’t be the last.
Eight years after Vicky was born we surprised most of our family and friends when we announced my wife was pregnant again, even though she was approaching 40 years of age.
That is where “the boy” finally showed up and changed our lives one more time. And here he is now, 21 years of age, living in Oklahoma with his wife of nearly three years, and expecting their first child in April.
The visit from my son was certainly important so we could spend time with the young couple, as well as the little party to “reveal” the sex of the baby.
But there was one other thing that was far, far more important than any of that—the rematch on the basketball court between my son and myself.
OK, I’m sure you are thinking, “this guy must be crazy. His son is only 21 and Kevin is, well, much older.” Just for the record, yes, I am much older—62 to be exact. However, I have exercised my entire life and stayed in reasonable shape, but more than anything, I have played basketball for years.
Michael and I used to play one-on-one for many years in our driveway as he was growing up. He was never the big athlete type, but actually got fairly good playing against me, developed a very good outside shot, and was especially difficult for me since he is a big kid—probably about 6-1 and a bit over 200 pounds. Compare that to my quite smaller frame of 5-9 and 160 and you get my point.
After I visited him in Oklahoma during the early summer and somehow defeated him in our series of games I knew he was anxious for the rematch. After all, as he correctly states, he has nothing to gain and everything to lose since he is expected to win, considering the age and size difference.
We always play a best of three series so we split the first two games, coming down to the final match. He was only two points from winning and I figured my reign as the basketball king in the family was finally coming down when the old boy (that would be me) got a surge of energy and somehow knocked in four baskets in a row to beat him.
Yes, I am bragging. Yes, it still feels pretty good to beat the young kid. And yes, I will keep plastering it all over my paper as long as I win.
Kevin Chiri can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.