Have I mentioned that mine is one of several interracial marriages in my family — all of which involve black women and white men? Let’s see now: three older female cousins (on my mother’s side) have intermarried. Two of them are sisters and are from the part of the family that settled in England. We’ll call them Loretta and Paula. Of those sisters, Paula has two daughters, with one from a relationship before her marriage. Her sister Loretta did things in a traditional way. She got married and then had her two daughters.
My American cousin, Marlinda, got married at around 42 — past the traditional age for marriage. Marlinda is such an accomplished and resilient person, so strong-willed and independent that she shocked us twice with the news that she planned to marry her husband Jeff: first, that she would consent to be any man’s wifey and second, that her husband was NOT BLACK! Understand the gravity of what I just said. Marlinda was one of those black women who simply preferred to date black men, and, as far a we knew (because she is very discreet about how she lived her life and did not kiss & tell) did so exclusively. Imagine our shock, then, as she introduced us to Jeff, with his Caucasian self. Where was Marlinda’s determination to find her Ideal Black Man (IBM)? For her to settle down with a white dude seemed so unreal! We were positively befuddled, but all that disappeared after we watched them interact. Jeff is hilarious and irreverent and he complements Marlinda’s madcap personality perfectly! Plus, Marlinda floors him with her dark-skinned beauty and fun-loving personality and he is openly affectionate with her. Three years ago they welcomed a beautiful baby boy into their family.
Marlinda is representative of women who marry and have children later in life, especially those black women who take their time to get it right before settling down. No ‘baby daddy’ situations, with all of the series of debilitating dramas that those can entail. She waited until Mr. Right came along and did not settle any sooner for anyone inferior. Women like Marlinda should be applauded for sticking to their guns. Why should they settle in their 20s or 30s for some lame dude who won’t make them happy? Men would never entertain such a thought, probably because Mother Nature gave them the perverse ability to sire children well into their latter years of life. Despite recent research that has linked certain birth defects to older fathers, don’t believe the hype: biological clocks do not haunt and taunt men the way that they do women.
Marlinda’s experience should be familiar to everyone: plenty of celebrity women are either remarrying or waiting to marry in their 40s, and some are having children in their 40s. Some call it mature motherhood. Idiots out there, uncharitably, call it stupid. Whatever the case, mature motherhood probably confers a calmer, more sensible approach to child rearing than the frenzied way of people in their 20s and 30s. Halle Berry is one example of a woman who tried and tried until she found happiness. And just ask Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, who had twin sons at 41 and recently did an interview with Tasty Baby.
3. How has having twins at 41 differed from the first time you had a baby in your 20s?
I feel like I am more woman now. I also have more patience & I don’t sweat the small stuff as much. In my 20’s I felt a need to have a big career.
4. Your twins were born 6 weeks early because you had signs of “pre-eclampsia.” Was this scary for you? Do you have any advice for Tastybaby readers who may be coping with similar worries?
It was definitely a scary time for me, even though my doctor was more worried about me than the babies. I prayed & prayed that we would all be ok. My advice would be to listen to your doctor & try not to read everything online, because sometimes theres’ too much information out there to scare you & with modern medicine now there’s so much they can do to help.
Good for Garcelle for starting over and finding happiness. And good for all of my intermarried cousins for maintaining strong marriages with solid husbands. They are, by all appearances, wonderful guys who honor them and who are always there when my cousins need them. These guys are in it for the long haul and they have made very comfortable lives for my cousins. They have lots of adventures together, be it traveling or living overseas, cooking, entertaining and raising children. I have to say that these couples are great advertisements for marriage. And for those women who are waiting decades for their Mr. IBM, face it: he might never show up, for whatever reason. Just relax your rules a bit and learn to heed the resonant buzz that kicks up whenever you and Mr. Not Black are around each other.