I’m an Old Grandpa for Toddlers;  I’m worried I’m running out of time

I’m an Old Grandpa for Toddlers; I’m worried I’m running out of time

The author, his wife and two young children.
Courtesy of Ryan Crawley

  • My husband and I met in our late 30s and we had two children growing up.
  • Now that I’m an older dad, I worry about losing time with my kids.
  • I wrote children’s books and now work from home to spend as much time with them as possible.

George Clooney has 6-year-old twins and is in his 60s. Al Pacino recently gave birth to another child at the age of 83.

I’m a spring chick compared to these two, but still, being 49 with a 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son makes me feel my age.

When my kids graduate high school and go to college, I realize I’ll be a senior citizen, so I’m not wasting a minute.

When my wife and I grew up, we had children

I met my husband in our late 30s and once married we struggled to have children. Only through in vitro fertilization and prayers were we able to succeed after years of trying.

First came our daughter Ellie, then two years later our son Jack.

Interestingly, although our children are several years apart in age, they are technically fraternal twins as they come from the same set of embryos. Jack waited in the freezer for another two years before appearing.

Having children later has some advantages

Of course, one of the main advantages is that we are financially prepared because both my wife and I are getting older. Young parents often struggle with money, but we’re both past that stage of life. So my kids have more money in their savings accounts at their ages than I did when I graduated high school.

Plus, my wife and I probably have more patience to deal with tantrums and certain issues. Now we have the life experience to understand that everything is temporary, so there is no great need to get out of shape for small things.

But for every perk it seems, there are two or three downsides to having children later in life.

Being an elderly parent has its downsides

First, my kids won’t get to know their grandparents that much through actual interaction. Instead, it will be through stories that remind us of the past. My father died when Ellie was 1 year old.

The biggest disadvantage is that we will spend less time with our children due to our age. It was something that weighed heavily on me as we struggled to have children and as the years went by.

When Ellie was 2 and Jack was just 1, I had a few health scares that really worried me. I wondered if he would barely have any memories of me if things got worse. They may just remember that there used to be someone watching Scooby-Doo with them.

I made sure my kids would remember me no matter what

At the time, I didn’t seem to be getting any better, so I took my knowledge as a writer and educator and wrote a few children’s books that they could enjoy later in life when I was no longer around.

This may sound morbid, but I used aspects of our lives to write and publish Ellie and Jack: Third Grade Ghostbusters and Ellie and Jack: Third Grade Vampire Hunters. For example, I took advantage of my children’s love of scary and mysterious stories.

Now I spend as much time with them as I can

Nothing brings more happiness in your years than having children running to the door to greet you every day. I enjoyed it so much that I now work entirely from home and spend almost every waking minute with Ellie and Jack. Luckily, they sleep an average of 10 or 11 hours a day, so I still have a little time here and there to get my work done and regain my sanity.

But it’s all worth it because I don’t want to waste even a minute of time with my kids because soon I’ll be a senior citizen and they’re just starting their lives.

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