My dad was born during the Spanish Flu. He came of age during the Great Depression, served in World War II and Korea, and was deep into a third career by the time he had me, at age 63.

I was the second kid from his third marriage, and there were no more after me. I'm not exactly a Civil War widow, but there's probably a short supply of people my age whose parents were born during the Great War.

And now I'm an old dad, too. I'm no sexagenarian, but I'll be in my fifth decade when my third kid—knock on wood—arrives in March 2022. I'm not the oldest dad out there: George Clooney, for one, and a lot of career-minded dads in New York City, for another, have me beat. But being the father of young kids in your late 30s and early 40s (our other two are 6 and 3) is a much different experience than that of a lot of my friends who had their kids in their mid- to late-20s.

William Faulkner wrote in "A Light in August" about the children of older parents, children he portrayed as insipid, exhausted and prematurely old themselves. But what he saw as apathy or listlessness, I think of as the digestion of a certain amount of life's wisdom (at