Approaching fatherhood so late in life brings up some interesting issues. As the poet Charles Bukowski once said of himself, "I've always been a slow starter," and that's true of me as well. Couldn't lose my virginity until college. Never really able to hold a 9-to-5 job. Driver's license at 40. And now fatherhood as I close in on 44. The only thing I embraced wholeheartedly was alcoholism. There, I excelled (and accelerated).
As for being a first-time dad--at a time when most men my age have teenage children and are exercising their mid-life crises by screwing their dental hygienists--there are a few things for which I'm prepared...like strolling thru the neighborhood with my new baby daughter only yo be told, "What a lovely granddaughter!" by some passer-by. Or when Tori is older, one of her friends asking, "Who's that old man?" That's ok. I can take it.
But there are other concerns. My dad had his first heart attack at 39, and the fatal one at 46. I was 17 when he died. I'll need to keep a significantly better timetable if I'm gonna watch Tori graduate from high school (I'll be nearly 62) or college (I'll be 66).
There are some advantages to this "old dad" thing tho. Unlike dads under 25, I can safely say that I got all my ya-ya's out when I had the chance. I drank like a sailor, smoked like a diesel, recorded with two bands, published poetry in 100 magazines, hiked mountains, canoed rivers, and rode horseback (those last three I hope to continue). So no regrets. And now there's a life I can share with my daughter, provided I don't become too enfeebled to lift her onto a pony by her 5th birthday.
Slang of the day: skin tickler: drummer (1930s)