The first time I met my daughter’s kindergarten teacher, I knew it.
Sure, it happens a lot. You try to push it aside in your mind, but it’s still there:
I’m old enough to be this person’s father. And then some.
It makes me wonder what they see and say to themselves when they see me.
But does that really matter?
Only if you let it. That means pushing it aside in your mind.
I don’t know about you, but I find that difficult, if not impossible.
At the first gathering of parents of children in the kindergarten classes at my daughter’s school, I scan the group.
Usually, I see at least one older guy.
I check out his hair: Does he have much? Any? Is it gray? Colored? (I can always tell.)
But I can’t help noticing the parents from the other end of the spectrum.
It’s usually Moms. Most young Dads are busy elsewhere.
But us Older Dads want to be there. We want to be involved in virtually every aspect of our child’s growth experiences.
Sure, a few of those Moms fall in the young-enough-to-be-my-daughter group. That’s OK.
It’s the ones who look like they’re still in high school (obviously, they’re not). Uh, maybe they could be in college. Whatever.
It’s something else I’ve noticed as I get older: I don’t have a clue when it comes to estimating the age of a child between 12 and 21. For example, is this person babysitter material? Hmm. That kid with a beard … “What? You say he’s 15?
One memory that has stayed with me (not all of them do at this age, as you know) is about chatting with a co-worker on a Monday morning.
“How was your weekend?” ”What did you do?”
“I had a great time,” she answered. “We had a surprise birthday party for my Mom.”
“Wow, that’s great. Sounds like fun.”
“It was – she turned 50!”
“Uh, how about that.”
The memories of these encounters stick with me. It’s difficult – no, impossible – for me to let them go.
But perhaps by sharing these thoughts with you by putting these words down on paper (at least it used to work that way), I’ll still possess the experiences and share the beauty of being an Older Dad with a Younger Child.
It’s one of the motivations that’s driven me to write these chapters of my life.
The idea has been bouncing around in my head for months. For the most part, that’s where it’s resided.
I bought the domain name (actually two). I started scrawling notes on the back pages of a steno book I’ve been using to track the jobs I’ve applied for.
Finally, I got in touch with an old friend who is overwhelmingly creative, and has a talent for creating web sites, like this one.
It reminds me of a mantra I share with a group of friends who gather periodically: “Keep coming back.”
Hopefully, you’ll do the same.