My parents had children in their early 20’s, as did many of the married couples at that time. I had children in my 30’s – another common theme these days, with many married couples waiting a bit longer to start a family. I am certainly more mature than I was in my 20’s (at least I hope I am). Consequently, I always wonder what it would have been like if I was raising a family in my early 20’s. For one, I doubt I would have chosen to be an at-home-dad…too selfish in that phase of my life. Do you wonder what kind of dad you would be if you had young children when you were in your 50’s? Would you be able to crawl around on all fours chasing after your children or would the bad back prevent that? Would you be able to toss around the football? Worried your child’s friends would call you “gramps”? How old would you be when your child graduates from college? Gets married? Well, you get the point – it really makes you wonder.
These kinds of reflections came to a forefront this weekend when I read about a “few men in Brooklyn (who) began posting for an older fathers’ group they called Over 50, Under 5. After a couple of false starts, a core of six came together, and they’ve been meeting monthly for dinner for four years now.” The NY Times Sunday Styles section has done it again! They have provided another heart-warming story about caring & involved parents – older dads with young kids.
Generation B: The Virtues of a Slow-Moving Dad by MICHAEL WINERIP quoted one 59-year old dad, who has a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son, as saying “We seek comfort in other dads in the same situation.” (a Great read – thanks Matt S. for thinking of me). Winerip says, “That, however, makes the group sound a little weepier than it actually is. In truth, they count themselves quite lucky to have young children at a time of life when they are not building careers, not seeking fame and fortune, when they are able to put their young sons and daughters at the center of their lives.”
I truly enjoyed hearing how a few of these involved dads now realize it is all about putting their children first while their careers are already completed or put on the back-burner – ” there are days I can think about Isaac (his son) and nothing else. I mean, I think about making dinner, but I can give him an enormous amount of undivided attention.”
Do you often wonder what it might be like if you started a family later in life?