What?!? I’m An Older parent?!? by Ali Skylar

I’ll never forget the moment I realized that my hubby, Jamie and I were “older parents.”  I never really gave it a second thought until my son, Chaz, now 21, was in Kindergarten.  He came home one day after Jamie picked him up from school very upset.


Me: Hey love! How was your day?

Chaz: Not good mommy.

Me: Oh yeah?  Why not?

Chaz:  Well, daddy is going to die.

Me: What?!?!?!

Chaz:  The kids called him my grandpa.

Me (again): What?!?

Jamie:  It’s my gray hair, hon.  They thought I was Chaz’s grandpa because of my gray hair.

Me (laughing):  Oh Chazzie, your hair color has nothing to do with age.  Dad’s been gray since he was 25!

Chaz: Mom, he’s old, and he’s going to die soon.

Me (trying not to laugh): Look, I’m telling you, the color of your hair has nothing to do with age or when you’re going to die.   That I can promise you.

Chaz:  Still mommy, he’s old.

Me: Older my love. And that’s a pretty special thing to be because when you’re older, you are really, really wise and can teach your kids so many cool things.

Chaz:  Like what?

Me (looking to Jamie for a good answer):  Yeah, Jamie, like what?

Jamie:  Well, I can teach you how to juggle, how to ride a unicycle, how to follow your bliss, how to play tennis, how to cook a stir fry, how to run a business, and the most important thing I’ve learned through my “older” life is that we must ALWAYS treat people and ourselves kindly and with great compassion.

Chaz: Can I get a snack now?


As Ali and Jamie look at each with a questioning glance, they wonder if the concern and doubt in her son’s heart has passed, and whether or not he even understood a word of what they just shared. Not sure, but time will tell….

And yes, time has told us, that even with all the assurances, fun, adventurous, meaningful experiences, and the fact that his dad is still around and full of life, the initial realization that his dad was way older than many of the other dads, instilled in Chaz a double-edged sword belief: a deep desire to connect with his dad as much as possible, and a fear that this connection will be cut short, taken away from him way too young.

I’m now seeing that as Chaz travels through his 20’s and becomes more adept at living an adult life, more trusting of his own skills, talents and ability to live life on his own terms, and taking responsibility for and learning from his choices and the outcomes, his fear seems to be subsiding – he is finding the ability to appreciate the present moment and the more adult father/son connection that is soothing his soul and diminishing the fear.

Now, I would say that a younger parent wouldn’t be able to truly appreciate this perspective and approach: raising a child with the understanding that time is not necessarily on your side. As such, Jamie and I have always paid attention to and made an attempt to approach each parent/child moment with a heartfelt intent to make it a meaningful one, one that will stand the test of time and be a memory that will last even when we’re gone.

Not a concept you can explain to a 6 year old. But one, that when lived by, can instill a deep and rich relationship that transcends age and hair color…:)



Ali Skylar is an blogger/vlogger, author, playwright and composer. She is the creator of Sucky to Soulful, an online personal growth website where she shares quick and easy shifting tools. As part of her “shifting” philosophy, Ali has written two courses, Transforming “Ahh Crap!” Into A “Wholy Shift!” and “Parenting SOULutions” that help people and parents step into a happier, healthier and more meaningful way of “being” and “doing.”  She has written personal growth books (Life Sucks..Just Kidding!, Shiftitudes and The Blue Butterfly) and is the Content and Marketing/Digital Director for a business development company, Capitalize On Your Uniqueness.

Ali has also been a parenting blogger for the Star Ledger’s Newspaper, NJ.Com, wrote and toured a children’s musical nationally for over 15 years, developed and taught music programs for schools throughout NJ, and recently brought to life her passion project, What About Me? – a musical dramedy about Julie, a working mom who on the verge of an existential breakdown, returns home from a weekend personal growth workshop and decides to quit her job and write a musical! This throws her family into disarray as Julie strives to juggle family responsibilities and personal fulfillment.

Ali has been married over 34 years to her husband Jamie Greenberg,and they have two children, Lexi Lyric (a Broadway bound performer) and Chaz Harper (an aspiring EDM composer and DJ).  Ali grew up in Manhattan, went to the High School of  Performing Arts as a classical French Horn Player, and after college worked at ICM Artists and PolyGram Records. Living half of her life in NYC and half in NJ, she proudly identifies herself as a “New Jorker.”




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