While reading the news feed on my iPhone in the gym the other night, even as I cranked my heart rate up to 340 on a Matrix elliptical machine, I came across a headline that damn-near blew me off the machine:

This 74-year-old woman just gave birth to twins.”

The piece was, in actuality, a bunch of click-baiting hooey, for reasons not the least of which is the fact that the woman may only be 73, not 74, as was blasted in the headline. When asked to verify his wife’s age, the woman’s 82-year-old husband mumbled something unintelligible through his oxygen mask and appeared to be rolling his eyes. Then he keeled over.

Looking Ahead

Oddly enough, the story neglected to mention what I’d have taken to be some very significant milestones in the newborn children’s lives. Those include but will likely not be limited to these:

  • When the children enter kindergarten, their parents will be 79 (or 78) and 87, respectively.
  • By the time they graduate from high school, their parents will be 92 (or 91) and 100, respectively.
  • By the time they graduate from college, their parents will be 96 (or 95) and 104, respectively.
  • And by the time the children become parents of their own children, their parents will be old enough to be their grandchildren’s great-great grandparents.

Be Careful What You Don’t Wish For

On a relative scale, this story makes you realize the degree to which some of us just aren’t as hopeful or imaginative as others. I, for one, couldn’t conceive (no pun intended) of having more children in my mid-80s. And even if I could, I don’t know if I’d be hopeful enough to imagine I’d live to see them eat their first solid food, let alone start college.

My first son was born when I was 29. My second son was born when I was 32. At both of those times, I’d have considered myself lucky to see them become parents of their own children, let alone become a great-great grandfather to anyone.

Each of the boys is now married. Each of them has two children, one boy and one girl apiece. That makes me a grandfather, of course. But I’m still not great yet.

Maybe I’m just not hopeful enough.