By now, I'm sure most of you have heard about the 57 year-old woman from NYC who just gave birth to twins, making her the oldest American woman in history to do so. As Conan O'Brian said, "the mother and twins are doing fine. However, the doctor is still recovering from nausea."
I'm surprised more people in the parenting blogosphere haven't been talking about this. Am I the only one who finds this a little creepy and ethically ambiguous? And don't get me wrong. I'm not claiming a double standard just because it was a woman. I have the same reservations about Tony Randall (who had a child at the age of 79), Warren Beatty (63) and Saul Bellow (84). Of course, those guys only agreed to be elderly parents because their 25 year-old wives demanded it.
Ultimately, the libertarian in me says that it was the woman's own personal decision. Who are we to pass judgement? Being a firm believer in individual rights, I can only say "more power to her." But in a way, it seems sort of selfish of her. Even the woman's own doctor said that just because you CAN have kids at such an advanced age doesn't necessarily mean you SHOULD. After all, by the time her kids graduate college, she's going to be 80 years old! But who knows? Maybe what she lacks in energy, she'll make up for in wisdom.
I do feel badly for the kids though. Can you imagine the ribbing these kids are going to take when they get to school?
"Hey Johnny. Does your mom have incontinence or is she just happy to see me?"
"Man. Yo mama's so old, her social security number is 1"
"Hey Johnny, is it true your mom farts dust?"
Ok...somebody stop me!
But again, I'm not going to pass judgement. I just have these images in my head of running around as a little kid and having my mom chase me for hours. Or playing soccer in the backyard with my dad. I sincerely wish her the best of luck. She's going to need it. Anyway, she seems more than capable of loving and caring for her child. She's got an army of nannies to help her out so I'm sure she'll be just fine. In fact, in many regards, I'd rather see an older woman caring for her newborn children than a young teenager.
Personally, I can't picture dealing with a newborn baby when I'm 57 years old. At that age, I have visions of being retired from the rat race. I picture myself sitting on a porch with the BossLady, sipping lemonade while gazing at our trout-filled stream and listening to the pattering of our horses. Of course, the reality is that I'll probably be working at McDonalds or greeting people at Wal-Mart ("Whazzup! Welcome to the Shizzy"). But regardless of the reality, the idea of changing diapers and chasing around twins when I'm 57 is a little frightening!
Maybe it does take a village...