Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Age and the Married Dad

I was warned that this would happen. Little Evelyn is now going on seven weeks. She is doing just great, and is learning to do some of the cute things that makes up for the midnight crying fits. She can now smile and Linda swears that she has laughed a time or two. She is as cute as ever and is working hard on her head lifting skills.

One thing I haven't mentioned in these posts is that I am 46 years old. Linda is a few years younger, but both of us are way over the average age for new first time parents. That is what happens when you marry late and want children. For the most part I am very grateful that I waited this long to become a dad. True, I am stiffer in the morning when it is my turn to get up to watch the little one. It is also true that when she gets old enough for horse-play I will not be able to keep up as well as I could have 20 years ago. On the other hand there are many advantages to being an older dad. My judgement is infinitely better than it was back then. Psychologically and emotionally I am much more capable of being a good dad than I was when I was in my reckless and tumultous twenties.

Twice now I have been asked if Evelyn is my grand-daughter. This doesn't bother me. It is much more common for men my age to be toting around a 7 week old grandchild than it is to be toting around a 7 week old child, so I can understand the misunderstanding. The other day, for the first time, however, a relative stranger let me know in no uncertain terms that they thought that I was much too old to be having children, as was my wife. I was told to expect this from an associate who also had her first child in her 40's, is now in her 60's and was subjected to the same editorials.

Unfortunately the quick and witty response eluded me, but since I work in a semi-political position it is probably just as well anyway. It is just amazing what some people feel is any of their business.


WTF! wow, what is the matter with people?! we're currently getting "who's the mother? no, i mean who gave birth?" questions. i'm sorry, DO I KNOW YOU???

how about, "damn, i forgot to consult YOU about our private matters first," although i think i'm going to try the smile and murmur "oh my, how rude" tactic first.

glad to hear that evelyn is doing well! =)
You were reckless and tumultous in your twenties? Sorry I missed that, or I'd have blackmail material now. :)

As far as quick and witty responses go, how about, "Perhaps you are right, but nevertheless we are sure we'll do a better job teaching her manners than your parents did with you." And smile.

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