My Later Parents – By Ann Morgan, Author
Like most kids, I hope, I consider myself lucky in the parent department. My folks were loving, kind, and firm when they needed to be and provided my brother and me with a home filled with unconditional love. Most people would consider those qualities to be all the reasons a kid would need to think their parents are great. But I had one more reason why I consider myself especially lucky: My parents were older than most. When I was born, my mom was 39 and my dad was 49 – in the 1960’s that was rare.
There were a lot of reasons why I felt lucky to have older parents, not the least of which was they could afford me. This might sound trivial, but it’s true. The fact is, my parents were successful business people and they could afford to do things with their kids. They were not extravagant (they were raise in the depression so they were careful with their money), but we were comfortable. My brother and I were not a financial burden to my parents. Because they could afford us, their approach to money and investment was much different from most of my friends’ parents. We didn’t hear things like, “Are you crazy, we can’t afford that…” But instead heard, “Let see what we need to do to afford something like that…” A completely different conversation with money took place in our home.
Because my parents were more mature, I was around adults all the time. This gave me the advantage of learning very early on – not to be afraid of adults. Frankly, I was a novelty to many of my parent’s friends who almost all had grown children. They enjoyed having me around and it was fun to be a part of their group. I learned so much from my parent’s friends.
My mom had a group of friends who called themselves “The Secret Pals.” They had met years ago when they were in business school together. They met every year for a special Christmas party and often during the year for various get-togethers. I was always invited. My mom and I would attend together and it was as if I were a part of the gang. I was the only kid who attended. The ladies were welcoming and amazing.
Most kids I grew up with didn’t have a very good relationship with their parents. They were often complaining about them. But not me – I specifically noticed my parents and I were closer than my friends were to their parents. We did things together and genuinely enjoyed one another’s company. One of the things we loved was to go for drives on Sundays. I loved out adventures. We would jump in the car with a picnic lunch and just take off for parts unknown. My friends would say they ‘had to go’ places with their parents, where I wanted to go with mine. My relationship with both my mom and dad was wonderful. My parents wanted me around. They liked my company and I liked theirs. This relationship only grew deeper as I grew older.
Lastly, they were wiser. They had lived life longer than most parents of kids my age. They simply had more life experience. They were much more prepared for parenthood. I have followed in my parent’s footsteps in many ways – not the least of which was waiting until later in life to have my own child. I had my son, Jack, at the same age my mother was when she had me, 39.
Even as an adult, I could tell my relationship was different from that of my peers – that wisdom, age-gap (or whatever you want to call it) remained a benefit for me. Mom and Dad are both gone now. I miss them every day. Right up to the end, we had a special relationship. I think our mutual respect and caring for each other made their passing easier on me. I was certainly at peace with them in their final days. Living without them is certainly hard at times but I do not live with regret. I live with amazing memories and lessons learned from wise and loving parents.
Ann Morgan James is an author, speaker and Jack’s mom. In an effort to salvage her son’s self-esteem after suffering devastating bullying in school, she helped him start a business. After this amazing experience with Jack she decided to share the skills she taught Jack with other parents in her book, How to Raise a Millionaire; Six millionaire skills parent can teach their kids so they can imagine and live the life of their dreams. Jack has also written a book, How to Let your Parents Raise a Millionaire: A Kid-to-Kid view of how to make money, make a difference and have fun doing both, is the story of how Jack overcame being bullied and his learning disability. He explores how he started his own business and encourages other kids to do the same. He was a published author at the age of 12, and speaks to adults and children alike while spreading his story of courage and perseverance.
Ann, Jack, their three dogs and parrot live in San Jose, California. To learn more about them go to: www.howtoraiseamillionaire.com.