Older Moms Move Faster


In typical new-mom form, I’ve been working my way through the Sunday Times all week, and finally got to the Style section. (Second stop, after the magazine, so that’s really sad.) Anywho. This week, the Modern Love column was written by a woman who was about to give up on having her own kid when, just on the cusp of being too old, had a fling and got pregnant.

Ah, a woman after my own heart!

Actually, Randy and I didn’t get pregnant on a fling. We had a fling, which turned into a thing, and got pregnant on purpose (the first time) well after I met his kids and a couple months before the wedding. But still! Baby just under the wire, and relationship moving fast. Like “single mom by choice” was a leitmotif of the Big Chill generation, “oh crap, you’ll do” seems to be a theme for my, uh, what, Forty Year Old Virgin generation.

When I think back to the relationships of my twenties (and the twenties of my friends), it seems like they moved with glacial sluggishness. It took six months to have “the talk” (“just you and me, right?); it was a year before you could talk about moving in together; it was eighteen months before you could have the “shit or get off the pot” conversation. By my accounting, the longest relationships that didn’t lead to marriage lasted five years, which was a lifetime (longer than college!). By contrast, those of us who found ourselves nearing 40 and single (or single again) moved things along much quicker.

The cynical among you will say I settled; I disagree. Randy’s way better than the crappy toxic bachelors, boring potheads, and basic mis-matches I stubbornly chipped away at, back in the days of modems and land-lines. As far as I’m concerned, I identified the necessary deal-breakers, sniffed around for toxicity (my nose is much more sensitive now) and made a quick assessment based on a necessity that didn’t exist before.

And when he worried that he was basically a six-foot-four hairy sperm bank, I pointed out that if we could stick together through Penelope’s adventures in the preemie tank, we had to be a better match than sperm and egg.

Anyway. It warms my heart to see other women making a gamble that results in such adorable payoffs. You go, Kathy Harding! See you at the playground!