Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Twins? Twins!

It was just a fortune cookie. She's probably eaten dozens; after every paper box full of beef and broccoli or sweet and sour chicken, each plastic tub of carryout wonton, a fortune cookie stood as closure, as final as the amen at the end of a mealtime prayer. But how much thought have you ever given a fortune cookie? What does a fortune cookie even taste like, is its mediocre blandness even describable? And are the paper slips tucked away even really fortunes anymore? They appear these days to be more Chinese proverbs, pasteurized words of wisdom. No longer does a fortune cookie say you will find love this week, or a job. Now they are more apt to say things like "Happiness is in the journey, not the destination." And leave you mumbling in between the crunching about how that's not even a fortune.

One of our favorite Chinese food joints, which is in a converted fast food restaurant in Baltimore, includes a single dip of ice cream for dessert in their ubiquitous combination platters. They plop a cellophane-wrapped fortune cookie on the dish along with your check. On this night, we dispersed them without thought, a strictly random exercise. I opened mine, and now struggle to remember what unmemorable phrase was adorned on the sliver of white paper, nor what Chinese word I could learn on the flip side. But boy do I remember my wife's fortune cookie.

As she cracked open the vaguely lemon, vaguely vanilla cookie, there were two distinct slivers of white paper. Two fortunes! What a serendipitous occasion! The moon and stars had aligned, and good fortune (cookie) had shined upon us this night! Until she read them. "Job well done." Twice. Two fortunes, in the same cookie, each of which said "Job well done."

We had not told her mom and dad, who sat just across the table from us, that we were expecting. We had decided to wait on letting them in on the secret as long as we could, and now found ourselves playing footsies over what these fortunes must mean; surely there was no way around it, we were having twins.

On the Thursday morning ride across the Bay Bridge to the Anne Arundel Medical Center, veteran Baltimore sportscaster Keith Mills came across the 98 Rock airwaves. My wife and I are faithful Baltimore sports fans, and are definitely part of the Keith Mills bandwagon. That morning, he told his listeners some fairly blase sports news, the Baltimore Orioles had won their exhibition game the following evening in Florida, against the Minnesota Twins.

At that point, I knew twins were a foregone conclusion; all I needed was the doctor to let us know formally for me to confirm what was at this point much more than simply a suspicion, but rather an adamant belief.

There is something about seeing the flutter of a heartbeat on an ultrasound, to know for sure that in your wife's belly there grows your child, someone who will change the course of your entire life.

There is something else entirely to hearing your doctor, while peering at the ultrasound, say the words "and we aren't done yet!"

Job well done. Twice. 


Jay Clark said...

Very well-written, sir!

Merle said...

Very well done indeed! And double the pleasure.