My Gray Hair Caused Mistaken Identity

Pacing and smoking… it seemed like an eternity. Finally after seventy-two hours of labor, my wife birthed a beautiful baby girl with million-dollar lips. I was very proud and she was just what I hoped for. But let me back up, my wife and I married young. I was 20 and she 19. It was a whirlwind-love-at-first-sight-I-cannot-live-without-you marriage after dating only four months. Moving fast, we lost little time conceiving, after all isn’t that what life’s about – re-creating or was it rec-reating? Get it? Eleven months after marriage our daughter was born.

For an additional six years, we tried to conceive again. We thought we were not going to have any more children, then we did conceive. Again, we were very proud. If anyone tried to convince me we were not going to have a boy, I would get pissed off. My wife’s delivery was much easier this time and she did birth a boy. He didn’t have million-dollar lips and I thought he was an ugly baby. My wife argues that he was not. Luckily he grew out of that ugliness and became a cute kid, and now a handsome and confident man who did not get his baldness from me.

Our family was complete. NOT! Wait for it…. wait for it. Our family was growing up and our daugher was leaving the nest. Wait for it! Twenty-one years after #1 was born, we conceived for a third time. #1 was a sophomore in college. When our third child was born, #1 was the age I was when she was born. Oh, by the way, we had another son.

At left: My wife, #2, #1, #3, & Me

It happened more than once though! When venturing out in public on a Saturday, #3 was then walking and had very curly hair as it had not yet been cut.  We were getting frozen yogurt and a VP from my company was also in line at the store. He stated “what a cute little granddaughter.” I tactfully replied “it’s my son.” Double down on “mistaken identity.”

The best anecdote of “mistaken identity” occurred when #1 and her new husband were dining out with us. #3 ordered a steak and the waitress turned to our daughter and her husband and asked if it was okay. They pointed to my wife and I.

When people ask about my family and I tell them I have three kids with twenty-one years difference between the oldest and the youngest, they ask “all by the same wife.” Of course, by the same wife. All three are adults now and all married. #1 and #2 each have three children. #3 has three dogs and a cat. My wife and I have five beautiful granddaughters and one handsome grandson., and I enjoy when they call me “Gramps.”


Author: Jerry Hardesty Studio

I am an Abstract Expressionist Painter, living in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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