Friends since grade school, two Omaha guys waited until their late 40s to become fathers, and then both their wives became pregnant about the same time.
A nice coincidence — but wait, it gets better.
Both couples had twins, just 10 days apart, both at Methodist Women's Hospital. Though not at the same time, the mothers happened to stay in the same room.
To top it off, it was as if maternity created a fraternity. Both sets of twins were boys — and fraternal, or nonidentical.
The coincidences have caused a lot of good-natured banter and teasing from the couples' mutual friends. But there had been no plan, no consultation, no conspiracy. It happily happened.
And now “changed” has become prominent in the couples' vocabularies — changed lifestyles and lots of changed diapers.
“I always wanted to be a father,” said Mike Moylan, 48, “but time just got away from me. I think I have more to offer, though, as a person and as an older father.”
“It's just exciting for me,” said Bill Honke, 47. “They're great kids, and they're healthy. That's all you want.”
The babies were the first for their moms, too.
Sigrid Moylan, 37, delivered Luke and Jack on Dec. 4. Molly Maguire, 46, Bill's wife, gave birth to Liam and Aidan on Dec. 14.
Sigrid and Molly have been friends for a number of years, too, though not nearly as long as Mike and Bill.
As couples, the four have traveled, partied, skied and attended horse races together. They take vacations next door to each other at Lake Okoboji, Iowa.
The Moylans had announced Sigrid's pregnancy first and invited Bill and Molly over. Asked for a drink preference, Molly noted that Sigrid's was nonalcoholic.
“I'll have what she's having,” Molly said with a smile. Then she broke the surprise: “We're having twins, too!”
The laughter and hugs led to a summer and fall of checking in on each other.
“We were fortunate to have healthy pregnancies,” Molly said, “but it was nice to have someone to commiserate with and to ask, 'Is this normal?' ”
Friends threw a joint baby shower in October, calling it the “Noah's Ark 2X2” party. Neither couple, though, knew in advance the babies' gender.
Another coincidence is that all four boys weighed within 14 ounces of each other.
For the record:
Luke Thomas, 6 pounds, 7 ounces, 18 inches. John William “Jack,” 7 pounds, 2 ounces, 19 inches.
William Edward “Liam,” 6 pounds, 4 ounces, 19 inches. Aidan Michael, 6 pounds, 10 ounces, 20 inches.
Buddies from birth, intimates from infancy, these guys may become — if not college fraternity brothers — a lifelong golf foursome. Maybe they'll play the infield on a baseball team. Or hands of bridge at the same table. Perhaps they'll form a singing group like the Beatles.
Luke, Jack, Liam and Aidan may not make the world forget John, Paul, George and Ringo, but the rest of the 21st century lies ahead for the new Fab Four to make their marks — each in his own way.
Their parents are already doing so. Bill is a senior vice president for Bank of the West, and Molly is a proposal manager for the HDR architectural-engineering firm.
Sigrid first knew Bill when they worked at a bank together, and she met Mike when she subbed on the guys' coed softball team. Mike is president of Shamrock Development Inc.
All are involved in civic and charitable activities.
The mamas give the papas good grades in helping with the little guys. With two parents and two babies each, the couples play man-to-man defense.
If two babies are up at night, Sigrid said, “it's pretty much all hands on deck.”
At a recent photo session for The World-Herald, the dads pulled some antics behind the camera as they tried to make the boys smile.
“They crack me up,” said Molly.
Asked Sigrid: “The babies? Or the fathers?”
The boys were baptized last month — in a joint ceremony, naturally — at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 22nd and Binney Streets. Officiating was Father Tom Fangman, a longtime friend of the couples who took part in both weddings.
Because one set of twins is named Luke and John, someone teased that it would complete a biblical set if the other two were named Matthew and Mark. No, William and Aidan are fine names, thank you.
Four is a number that emerges often in world religions as well as in biology (chambers of the heart), astronomy (rocky planets) physics (fundamental forces), games (suits of playing cards) and music (common beats in time).
For two Omaha couples, four is a perfect number.
If you doubt that, just look at their smiles — and put two and two together.
Contact the writer: 402-444-1132, email@example.com