The 32-Year-Plan

On our third official “date” (as opposed to all the hanging-out we’d done in the years we were “just friends”), Sam asked me what I was thinking, and I answered: “Okay, well, don’t freak out, but I’m imagining our wedding. You have to understand, this is just something that girls do. It doesn’t mean anything, except that if you’re with some guy and you can’t even picture walking down the aisle with him, that’s maybe a bad sign. So. I’m picturing it.”

Sam nodded calmly, and that was that. Except that the next time I saw him, he had drawn up a guest list.

Shortly after that, we drafted the 32-Year-Plan. The Plan called for a year of dating, a year of engagement, and the first baby nine months after marriage, in Year 3. We planned for three children all together, and figured that in 32 years the last of them would be graduating from college. To plan any further out would, we felt, be getting ahead of ourselves.

We shacked up a month later, and Sam got me a ring not long after that, but we made the engagement extra-long to compensate, with the result that it’s now Year 3 and Baby #1 is arriving right on schedule.

We named all the children as part of the Plan. The first boy will be Robert Samuel, nicknamed “Robin” for as long as he’ll put up with it. The first girl will be Rosaura Gayle (or possibly spelled “Gale”). The third child (the Plan does not allow for three boys or three girls) will be either Francisco or Francesca Amato. It’s fun to say, in an exaggerated Italian accent, “Fran-SEES-ko! A-MAH-to!” Then you drop the accent and add “…Phillips.”

The moral of the story is, it’s good to have a plan.

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