When it became clear that we were adopting our son, I laid awake at night thinking about our age difference. I am 49 years and three months older than my son. He turned three this past fall, so that makes me…52.
It took a few months for me to accept that age difference. My thoughts revolved around how old, or young, my son would be when I was in my 70s—if I live that long. I want to make sure he knows how to handle money, relationships, and challenges that life bring. I want him to be confident. I want him to be in love with God.
God, in His kind and gentle way, brought several men across my path that are at least that much older than some of their children. God’s way of saying, “No problem, dude, you got this!”
I began thinking of the benefits about me being nearly 50 years older. For example:
When I am 55 we both will get discounted meals.
How cool is that? A lot of restaurants give discounts or free meals for kids up to age 12. And many of those same places give senior discounts to people 55 and older! That will give us about seven years of double discounts.
Now that he is potty trained, we both get up several times a night to go pee.
If you are not there yet, don’t worry you will be soon enough. It is my job to get up with our toddler in the night if needed. Well, we potty trained a few weeks ago, so I get him up a few times each night to help him go to the bathroom. It’s really ok. I was about to get up anyway for the same reason.
Since most people I don’t know think I am his grandpa, they are not as critical of my parenting.
At first, I was self-conscious about this when we were out in public. Then, I wised up and I work it. I don’t allow him to go crazy mind you. But, many times I just smile and shrug my shoulders, kinda like any grandpa would do.
If I make a strange noise or smell in public, I just look at my three-year-old son like he made it.
Another fun fact of getting older. The other day I smelled a bad odor. I looked around and thought to myself, “Did I make that smell?” Then out loud I asked my son if he had to go to the bathroom. Off the hook.
I have close friends my age and those who are younger that have toddlers.
It really is the best of both worlds. Friends my age have kids that babysit our little guy. Hanging out with my friends with toddlers keeps me young. And, I get to go to as many toddler birthday parties as I could ever want.
I am not as stressed about finances.
I know if we would have had our own children in our 20s or 30s, finances, or lack of them, would have been a daily topic. But, I have had time to make and save enough money that makes it less stressful.
I have a good excuse to take a nap!
I like naps. I use to feel kinda guilty for taking a nap. But now I have a great excuse. I am 52 years-old trying to keep up with a three-year-old boy.
A lot of friends my age have grandchildren about the age of my son. When they keep their grandchild, they can return them to their parents when they get tired. I just take a nap.
Greatest Benefit of all has nothing to do with age difference.
Simply put, I enjoy being his Daddy.
I would have it no other way. Sure, there are times when it feels a little awkward. But more times than not, it feels just right.
Can you think of any other benefits that I have? Some days I need to read the list.