|Photo Courtesy of "The Natural" (1984)|
"Kids of older dads are often happier, and more socially attuned because their fathers are more involved in their lives.” - Dr. Sherman Silber
There's something to be said about becoming a first-time father late in the game of life. Older "New" Dads seem to be more patient, more present, and more willing to be team players. We've been around the block, and we're realistic about our goals. But does being "long in the tooth" prevent us from being the men (dads) we always dreamed we would be? Not from where I stand.
First-time dads in their late thirties, forties, fifties, and even sixties, may feel at first like they're been warming the bench, but given the opportunity to step up to the plate and be the fathers they always dreamed the would be, these late blooming dads just seem to shine.
For one, we just get down to business. We don't have time for bullshit. We've been around the block, and know that only hard work gets you to where you want to be. And if you want happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids, you better be willing to get up at the crack of dawn, dig deep and find the strength inside yourself to move past all your aches and pains (and whining) to compete competently with men half your age. But if you're brave enough, and if you believe in yourself, and your ability to persevere, then there isn't a thing holding an older dad back from being the best of the best where fatherhood is concerned.
"I believe we have two lives... The life we learn with and the life we life with after that." - Quote, The Natural
After all, it doesn't matter how you come to fatherhood. What matters is your commitment to excellence once you get there. And older "new" dads just seem to be better equipped to take a lifetime of experiences, both good and bad, and put them to good use in their parenting. Older dads are calmer, cooler, and more in control. They've made their mistakes and have learned from them. They've made their mark in the world, or at least accepted their place in it, and now just want to settle down and be a hero at home. They don't need anyone chanting their name; all they need is one little voice calling to them from the other room, softly saying: "Daddy."
How do I know this? I live it every day. I'm an old-er dad, and from my perspective, being an older dad is the way to go. And, no, I don't mean to take anything away from younger dads doing their thing, and doing it well, but there's something about becoming a dad later in life that just feels, well, natural.
So here's to all the older "new" dads who aren't afraid to sign up and sign on for a long-term contract doing the greatest job on earth. You may not be as young as some of the other dads out there, but just by stepping up to the plate, you have our respect and admiration.
As my mom always says: "No one ever asks a doctor when they became a doctor, they just accept that they are a doctor." Well, no one cares when you became a dad, just that you're doing it, and doing it well.
To the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. To those about to rock fatherhood (no matter what your age) we salute you!
- Fodder 4 Fathers
Related Articles: Current Trends and Thoughts on Older Dads