No, this is not my kid, this is my niece, Reese, as I carried her along a trail a couple of weekends ago. Rachel and I and Reese’s parents were attending a maple syrup festival and this was one of the few snowy days we had all winter. Isn’t she cute as she tries to catch snowflakes on her tongue?

I’ve mentioned before the approach of my 40th birthday.  I’m not looking forward to it.  I won’t mention what day it is so I don’t get a bunch of fuss, but it’s not a day I am relishing.  Much of the past 20 years has been devoted to raising The Amish Cook column and not to children.  It’s occurred to me that many people have children when they are 23, 24, 25 years old because A) you have tons of natural energy then to tackle the rigors of raising young and B) you’re really still a kid yourself at age 25 and just naturally plunge right into things without asking a lot of questions first (frankly, I think that is a good quality…too much caution equals inertia).  Soooo, obviously this is a very personal decision that my wife and I will make together, not through an internet poll….but I’m curious what other people think about “older parents?”  Most of us probably know an older couple who have an “oops” baby, perhaps the last child in a brood.  But what about having your first child at 40?  My wife is 33, so there’s a bit more wiggle room there in fighting the biological clock….and I realize men can and do become fathers at much more advanced ages than 40…but…do any of our readers know first-time older parents? Or perhaps you are one yourself? (let’s define this as folks who become parents at age 35 or older).   My gut feeling is that we’ll ultimately take the parenthood plunge, but there have to be drawbacks to waiting.  When you have a child at, say, age 25, once they are grown up and gone you’re still in your 40s and plenty young to play.  But if we had a kid today, I’d be 58 when they were graduating.  I’d have to think experience/wisdom is a HUGE plus when being older and having a child.  I’d have to think I’d be a far, far better parent now than when I was 25.  But there also have to be drawbacks, too….Obviously energy is one, although, really, do I feel that different now than at 25?  Not a whole lot…I run regularly and have what I think is a decent diet.  It’s a tough call because there is a certain point, especially for females, when you can’t just “change your mind” and decide you want to have a kid at 45. Soooo….anyone have any thoughts on the pros and cons of “older parenting?”  Any experiences to share?