Ho Chi Minh is referred to as "Uncle Ho" throughout Vietnam. His image appears on the front of every Vietnamese currency note and he is featured prominently throughout the country on government buildings and park statues. Well, there's soon to be a new Uncle who is revered from the Sapa hills in the north to the river deltas of Can Tho in the south. Who is this hero? This leader among men? This gallant warrior scholar? Well, he's none other than yours truly, the soon to be Uncle Ben. That's right everyone, Kathy and Zev are preggers!!!!...and no, not with a third dog or fourth cat, but with a real August to be!!!!
I am filled with an overwhelming sense of excitement and joy for Zev and Kathy. I know they will be wonderful parents despite the fact that they will pay the child her/his allowance in slices of Kathy's peanut butter pie, and the fact that the child is bound for a life of NFL disappointment as Zev will inevitably make her/him a Jets fan. The two of them will shower the child with love and will one day have kids who realize they are as lucky as we have been to have our parents.
That said, I am filled with a sense of sadness that I will be away during the birth and first few months of the child's life. Without a doubt this has become my biggest regret in moving away this year. Way before Kathy and Zev became pregnant, or even knew each other (the second time since Zev doesn't remember Kathy in elementary school) I have pictured myself at the hospital making stupid faces and googlie sounds, behind the glass wall, to my first niece/nephew. I've always pictured taking an exorbitant amount of photographs and emailing them all to my friends. I've pictured competing with Hannah for who can find the best baby blanket--clearly one more in the style of my white blankie than her pink blankie. I've always pictured myself holding the baby and saying with all sincerity, "How much could we get for her/him on the black market?" I've always pictured visiting their house, bringing gifts and being "my weird Uncle Ben." I know that I'll have my chance to do all these things when I come home and Zev has already assured me that I can make it up with lots of baby sitting time. However, I'm still left feeling what we're all thinking: Zev and Kathy are so incredibly selfish for not planning this baby around my life.
Congratulations to Zev and Kathy!!! However, I should also extend a congratulations to the little gal/guy in Kathy's belly since he just won the greatest prize in the world--me as and Uncle.