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The latest Sandbox post should be required reading for all political leaders, and for anyone who has had contact with a service person -- past or present. It was incredibly moving to me, but also very positive about healthy results from unimaginably awful events.
Twins aren't always early. Mine were full term, each weighing in at 6 lbs. Congrats, Toggle and Alex. Twins are a blast.
June 17th, the due date for Alex and Toggle's twins, will also be the 41st anniversary of the Watergate burglary. Coincidence?
If everyone waited to have children until they were done with school, financially sound, and had a lifetime of common sense, our species would have gone extinct a millennium ago.
Oh, dear. Has anyone pointed out to Alex that twins are always, always early?
Everyone's commenting on how Alex and Toggle will do, but does anyone ever think about how the babies will do? They don't have any choice or say in the matter of their parents' careers, and sometimes it is a rude entrance into a hard world. "As soon as you're born they make you feel small, by giving you no time instead of it all..."
It's possible that Alex's character flaws were passed down not just from J. J., but from her father, who as a parent griped about being inconvenienced on his bowling night.
I hadn't quite thought of Alex as Doonesbury's version of a contemporary Virgin Mary, but for the twins' sake I hope that's what she's drinking.
Every indication about Alex and Toggle's relationship is that it is rock solid. Incidents like her not knowing the name of his school are where she gets to challenge the thoughtlessness her privileged background has unsurprisingly left her with, and grow ever more thoughtful and respectful, because she utterly loves Toggle. Alex does come from a background of financial privilege. She was a major contributor from childhood to the business that gave Mike and Kim a home with those beautiful mountain-and-water views, and I imagine some of the profits may be stashed away in a trust account for her, so poverty is unlikely. I do share the worry about her career, though.
Alex is gonna get that PhD and go on to greatness, 'cause Toggle's got her back, just like she has his. They've both been through some stuff and they know there will be ups and downs that will test them, but that only makes them cherish each other all the more. And that, my friends, is what a marriage is really made of.
I don't want to bring you down, Toggle, but as the father of twins, I can say with authority that rather than drawing a deuce you may have rolled snake eyes.
In 2003, I was told by a professor that as a married woman I wouldn't be considered for graduate studies in the lab because I would "just have babies, and be a waste of time." Now, as mother with a successful career and continued work in academia, I know first hand that the biggest barriers to mothers succeeding in that environment arrive not from their performance or promise, but other people's preconceived notions of what that mothers can accomplish beyond motherhood. My grandmother obtained a PhD while raising four children on her own, and went on to a successful career in academia. Also reference Jane Goodall, Marie Curie, Margaret (Canopy Meg) Lowman, Mirey a Mayor and many others. It can be done.
It's about time someone with a sense of humor showed up to address "work-life balance" for ambitious, intelligent mommies...
Congrats, kids! Motherhood is no barrier to continued success in life. Take for example, Marie Skodowska-Curie, the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences. She was the mother of Irène Joliot-Curie (another Nobel Prize in chemistry) and Ève Curie (a journalist who married Henry Richardson Labouisse, Jr. who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his founding of UNICEF). So, motherhood (and fatherhood) is (are) not the end of the world!
Call me a party-pooper, but I'm not happy to see Alex and Leo enter into parenthood so early -- in their early twenties, without clear financial security. Yes, Leo has a job, but is it enough to support a family? What about Alex's career; is she going to be able to continue grad school, or are her dreams and aspirations going to be shunted aside for motherhood? Didn't she learn anything from her grandmother, and even from her mother, about the importance of finding yourself before bringing children into this world? I'm sure GBT is going to handle this with much humor, but a couple of 23-year-olds rushing into parenthood isn't something to celebrate or laugh about.
Don't worry -- the twins have two dedicated parents. Toggle will ensure Alex doesn't give up everything career-related for motherhood, and will do his best to ensure their kids have what they need!
My heart sank for Alex. Children are a blessing, but consider the circumstances: shaky marriage (last we saw, she didn't know the name of her husband's school), both spouses still in school and living separately, husband with a severe disability, two demanding careers, no reference to support from a neighborhood or from a religious community, dicey relationships with both spouses' mothers, no father-in-law, no mention of significant financial resources, and no room in the trailer for nanny Zonker. Hats off to her if she can manage it. I don't think I could.
I hope you take the opportunity to showcase some of the real difficulties in academia for female scientists with children. How will Alex have the time to be part of a research team? What difficulties will she have being taken seriously by mentors? Future employers? What will she find she is giving up by deciding to have children so early in her career? There are many, many difficulties to explore.
I'm delighted to see the excitement over the next Doonesbury generation announcement. And laughing at the expectations for Mike, Joanie, Rick, and of course the happy couple. But I personally can't wait to see how Kim handles this. After all, she was such a wonderful baby.