I am in my fifties. I don’t really know how that came about. Though as a youth I was confident in my immortality, I was just as certain of the fact that I would never grow “old”. Funny how I have come to that point where I realize that both assumptions were flawed.
Being in my fifties means that I know a lot of other guys in their fifties. I know the graying bearded crowd, hairlines receding while midsections expanding. I chit chat with several of them every day. I chat with the younger guys too. They affirm to me that fifties isn’t such a bad place to be, still young enough to be “cool” but old enough to be considered “wise”. Another flawed assumption, but who am I to argue. Old age is around the corner, but far enough off to be ignored, like the suited and name tagged pair slowly working their way from door to door but are still a block or two away.
Many of the older guys that I know are looking at ways to do what they like to do, and do more of it. They all seem to be looking at hobbies, projects, or adventures of one type or another. I have too. I have decided to raise children in my silver years. Not just young people, but children. I might put a finer point on it by saying that I am making babies. My wife and I currently have our second together rising in the oven of the miraculous. We are indeed pregnant!
My older friends response range from suggesting that I am nuts to admiration at my courage or my energy. Neither of which I actually posses in any great abundance, so likely the former is truer than the latter. My younger friends are focused more on how old I am (eeew, your so old) and how irresponsible it must be considering I have likely galloped my way past the half way point to dead. I watch the risky behaviors of their lives and wonder if perhaps some of them have already done so as well, but I smile and keep my opinion to myself.
I didn’t plan to father young children at this stage of my life. At this point I was sure that I would be wearing a lava-lava around my waist and a large palm hat on my head while navigating my sailboat through the islands of the South Pacific. Might have been nice, but this is much more exotic if you ask me. What adventure can be found on the high seas that can come close to comparing to adventure watching a baby grow and become who they were created to be. What beauty can be found that can come close to the beauty of a child’s hug, or a sleeping baby.
I cannot say that I planned to do this at this stage of life. Having a family with children was something that had been denied me when I was younger by the choices of other concerned parties. It happened quite by accident, without any forethought in my mind. It happened in a non-traditional way at an inconvenient time as far as I was concerned, and it was the most amazing thing in my life. I was 49 when I first met the young man who would call me daddy and would change who I am in such a profound way. From the front side I would not have chosen that path but from this side I can see that it was the very path that saved me from becoming the very worst version of who I was well on my way to becoming.
We are at about the 12th week. Three months and the new little is about the size of a naval orange. Amazing stuff this stuff! For a couple of years after the arrival of our little boy I attempted to cooperate with his beautiful mother and create another, a playmate who would add more to all of our lives. That didn’t work either. Four years after his birth, long after we had given up on the possibility, the second line appeared on the at home pregnancy test and the doctor confirmed that we have another on the way.
I place all of this squarely on the shoulders of our loving God. While not exactly an immaculate conception it was miraculous all the same and we give God the credit. My wife and I love Him with all of our hearts and we have granted Him sole access to our past, our present, and our future. Checking in our Father proceeds every choice we make in every area of our lives. He redeemed us, brought us back, saved us from a sketchy looking future, and has shown a true interest and an active involvement in our lives. So much so that we find our ship tracking where we do not intend to steer, only to find ourselves in a much better place than where we were trying to head ourselves in the first place. Go God!
While it is somewhat different than what most people my age are doing, I think I am just now in the proper space to be a good father. I think my little boy agrees. As my lovely wife and I watch her tummy rise and as we go through the worries and frets that are common when a new one is on the way, we will rejoice and enjoy that we are where God has placed us, doing what God has us to do, and rejoicing that we can take part in what we dreamed would one day be, even though it is many years later.