Developmental-psychologist Daniels and family-therapist Weingarten interviewed 86 couples to find out why they chose to become parents when they did, and the effects of the timing decision on their lives; to these reminiscences, they add some mundane, some murky observations. Bruce and Bea Berry decided when to decide about having a family; Eva and Ezra Edelman thought, ""When we had a kid we'd have one""; Faye and Fred Franklin felt the hard part of parenting came with adolescence; and so on. (The alliteration is meant to help the reader tell when the couple became parents, as well as their current age.) Five ""family-timing scenarios"" emerged: the ""natural ideal,"" the ""brief wait,"" the ""programmatic postponement,"" the ""mixed script,"" and the ""unformed scenario."" Timing had its effects on individuality--having children early helped parents break away from their own parents, having them late signaled the end of identity-experimentation; on nurturance--early parents seemed tied to their own parents for ""replenishment,"" late parents met each others' needs; and on participation--among early parents the wife issued directions, among late parents there was more collaboration. There is considerably more, of a distinctly jargony nature (women were either in a ""sequential"" or a ""simultaneous"" pattern of work and mothering; men began ""hands-on fathering"" any time from infancy to adolescence, but usually had ""accelerated work trajectories"")--all of it interminably illustrated by examples from Allison and Arnold, Betsy and Bob, Millie and Max. For some substance and sense on the subject, see Couples with Children, by Virginia DeLuca and Randy Wolfson (p. 1123).