Career Builders and Now Doting Parents

Sylvia Hom and Kevin Olden married five years after they met and together weather the challenges of being older parents.

Comments: 13

  1. A lovely story! Thanks for sharing.

  2. A different perspective. I fully appreciate how they arrived at a place where, while they travel together, they pursue their separate interests and avoid the friction that can come either from insisting on total togetherness or feeling hurt when the other just is not interested

  3. Like all good and great marriages, the foundation of love, friendship, respect and individuality while being in the togetherness is there. I love this couple. Very truthful and caring of each other. A good example for a lot of young people who at the first sign of conflict drop and run. May you have many more happy days as a couple and as a family.

  4. This story conveys a feeling of difficulty and effort, a journey of slogging through things. Maybe that's what these boomer stories are about. Life is tough. But did they have any fun, any laughs? Where is the joy? Perhaps Kevin got his through his work. He seems to be a nationally renown physician. The bright light in the story seems to be their daughter and she is a late addition. Best of luck to them all.

  5. There is a lot of laughter and joy in this story about this couple and thier marriage! I find it very honest and refreshing. At least, he stated that they were narcissic and that was the delay in becoming parents. They had the emotional maturity to realize that, rather than plunge into parenthood prematurely. Moving around does take a toll on a marriage. It seems that they have weathered the storm well.

  6. They had the emotional maturity to recognize their weakness, and not plunge into parenthood prematurely? Fifty years old it no the right time, their children's parents, in their 20s and 30s are the ones who got it right. By the time you are 50 you should not be parents, especially not for the first time.

    My two youngest arrived when I was around 40, both adopted. The rule was supposed to be the parents could not be more than 40 years older than the child. It seemed difficult, but I learned the hard way, it is a good rule. When you hit 40 you start to see a lot of deaths. My oldest saw one before she was 20. My two youngest saw three grandparents, two great grand parents, an uncle, a cousin, and their mother, before they were teen agers. That's just part of the price of getting older, but having children when you are that old inflicts that on them.

    If they tried to adopt a child in this country, and I was running the agency, there is no way I would have given them a baby. The only good thing was, the baby they adopted would likely have died very young if she wasn't adopted.

    However, adding a child that late, after making a priority of careers, gives the impression she was an add on, another accomplishment. There are no points for doing something for the baby. I have known a lot of other adoptive parents, and none of us thought we were doing the child a favor, we felt getting a child was a great blessing.

    If career is first priority, family is automatically second.

  7. Cute family! It's encouraging that late(r) parenthood can work.

  8. I see in this a great deal of shallowness. Yes, Kevin, it was yuppie narcissism, but I see it continuing.

    Read what they said, is seems Sylvia is far more the Chinese wife than he thinks. It looks like Sylvia is the one who sacrificed every time, not Kevin. Though she did say he made a poor impression when he showed up for their first date, driving an old American car while we were all driving imports. How much more shallow do you have to get. On top of that, just driving an import as a matter of status strongly suggests indifference to working Americans.

    He took the job in Alabama, not we discussed it and agreed I should take it. She had a great sense of pride of ownership, not we had a sense of pride of ownership.

    You had already gone to Hong Kong and places their friends didn't go until the kids were out of the house? Guess what, the great majority of Boomers won't ever go to Hong Kong or any of those other places. Most Boomers who went to foreign countries, other than Canada or Mexico, did so by joining the military. I did manage to take my oldest daughter to Ireland, when she was very young, but the only trips out of the country since then have been to Toronto.

    Kevin is my age, and Sylvia is my wife's age. So we grew up in the same time period, but, apparently, in widely different cultures. This is a couple who never seem to have endured a single moment's hardship they didn't inflict on themselves, hardly an example to hold up to people in the real world.

  9. Maybe Sylvia has evolved past judging people by their cars, it's been a couple of decades ago, right? I know a lot of Boomers who've traveled extensively, it sounds a little like you're projecting your experiences/values onto this couple & that you assume your experiences/views are representative of most Boomers (they may be but then again they may not be). The Real World is all around us & it includes people who married late, focused on their careers, traveled, & adopt kids. I do hope you have the chance to go to Ireland with your daughter. I'm not sure of your situation but where we live some of the colleges extend study abroad-type trips to people in the community. They're a better bargain than a regular vacation plus you learn a lot about the country you're visiting. Costco & Groupon will sometimes offer off-season European trips for the price of domestic travel here.

  10. My wife and I do not qualify for your profiles. While we have 67 years of marriage, that's only 11 years with each other, and 28 with each of our previous spouses.

    Two previous marriages, two previous deaths of spouses, three children each.

    Please, in the future, try to chose couples who are a bit more representative of the great majority of boomers. There is damn little in that story that significantly relates to the experience of most of us, Not even anything we can really learn from. The only thing we can learn about life from that is, if you want to have the good life, do not have children. You can always get one from someone who did not wait to build a career later on, if you want one.

  11. The Times has a large readership & for some, like myself this piece was informative. My husband & I are on the brink of making a decision that we'd think will ultimately be great but in the short term looks non-traditional & perhaps strange to our families and friends. It's nice to see a couple that's succeeded even if their path wasn't a 'mainstream' one. I find this column interesting bc I'm youngish and like to see all the different roads people can take that still lead to a happy destination.

  12. Beautiful story. I'm really surprised at the critics (although of course everyone is entitled to an opinion). All children should have parents who are thoughtful, well-rounded, & capable of taking care of them (mentally, physically, & financially). To claim that "younger" parents are better simply due to their age ignores the reality of what is required to raise a child (hint: it's a lot more than "love").

    I admire the way this couple thought out their decisions, made commitments, stuck together. And only when they felt they were ready did they bring a child into that life. How is that selfish? To bring a child into your life without having carefully analyzed your situation to ensure you are truly ready & have the means to pull it off - that's selfish.

    With 7 billion people on this planet, waiting to have children, having less children, & even having no children seem like admirable choices to me.

  13. What a wonderful, happy relationship and family you have created. Your story made me laugh and feel great. Thank you for sharing and for being an example of how to truly appreciate your spouse and family.