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July 19, 2013

NASH: Trying to keep a secret

My wife and I had a secret. Early last month we learned the news ourselves and we have been trying to keep the secret for around six weeks. Amy figured out the secret on her own but I was not completely convinced. I was at work when she was positive about it so she called me on the phone and just started giggling and I immediately knew. It was confirmed for sure a few days later, and at the time it was our intention to keep the secret to ourselves for a while.

It was initially Amy’s idea to keep the secret for 12 weeks because that is what she had heard that most people did. I looked it up online to see how long people usually kept this type of secret and people were all over the place on how long they waited. Some people revealed their secret as soon as they found out, with a few waiting up to a few months. It seemed that more people than I would have believed waited until the twelfth week to reveal their secret.

I had the idea to wait until the Fourth of July holiday to let family know about our secret. I thought it would be the logical time to do it. It was somewhere between when we found out and the twelfth week. It seemed like a reasonable compromise and one that all parties involved could get behind. I really thought that this was the best plan and one that we could stick to.

It was unrealistic for us to even try to keep this secret. The two of us had big news in the past and we were never able to keep it just between us. One of us was always itching to let someone else know. I am not pointing fingers at anybody else but one of us is a little better at it than the other.

A couple of weeks later we found ourselves at the in-laws’ house to celebrate Father’s Day. At the time we had known our secret for about 10 days. I knew that it was going to take all of our focus and energy to not tell her parents and two sisters about the secret. We were very committed to keeping our secret … but it was not to be.

As her dad began to clean the grill to prepare our dinner, Amy thought what a wonderful idea it would be to tell him our secret. She thought that it would be the best Father’s Day present ever. I knew that if we told her father, and her mother found out, we would both be in hot water and would never hear the end of it. We pulled the family together and told them the secret.

We didn’t allow the family to celebrate the secret very much that day because my children were there and I was determined to wait a few more weeks to let them know. We also asked them to keep the secret to themselves, there were a few people we had to tell face-to-face and we didn’t want the word to get out before we had the chance. This meant my mother-in-law would not let the people she works with know, at least for another few weeks.

We did pretty good for the rest of the month keeping the secret to ourselves. I decided to let my wife tell the my brother’s wife. I thought she would have a little insight or advise for us and an important resource if we had any questions or concerns. She did recommend the best time to reveal our secret to the rest of the family so that is what we decided to do.

As we rolled into July it was time to start letting our loved ones know. We told my parents, who have heard this type of news seventeen times before. I called each of my siblings to let them know. One of my brothers didn’t answer so I left a message for him to call me when he had the chance. The next morning he sent me a text message where he guessed the secret before I had the chance to tell him.

At my work I thought I would wait before I let anyone know about our secret. I ended up spilling the beans when a guy I went to school with walked in with his wife and new baby and I engaged him in conversation. He started talking about what it was like to be a parent … “at his age” and all of the joy that came with his son being born. I went ahead and told him my secret.

Two co-workers were standing there at the time and overheard me tell my classmate my secret so I knew it wouldn’t be long until the word started to get out. Over the last couple of weeks I have been letting people know first hand and I am sure that some people are hearing it through the grapevine.

By now a lot of people know our secret. We have not gone officially public yet (posted it on Facebook). This week we will tell more family members and probably announce it in church. In a few weeks we will let the whole world know our news. Who knows maybe I’ll end up telling our secret in this column.

— Matthew Nash always has a secret or two to share. He can be reached at dmatthewnash@gmail.com

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