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60-year-old mom with twin toddlers: 'More energy than ever'

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Sunday, November 11, 2007 | 0 comments

When Aleta St. James turns 60 Monday, she'll celebrate with the help of two adorable, energetic toddlers.

They're not her grandchildren. Gian and Francesca are her twin son and daughter, born three years ago in a delivery for the record books.

Even though St. James is just two years shy of Social Security eligibility, she swears she feels like a kid again.

Even her own family can't believe that caring for two infants, weathering the terrible 2s and getting the kids into preschool hasn't slowed her down.

"I have a cousin, Laura, and she's a grandmother and she's a year older than I am," she said. "She brought her granddaughter to play with my kids and she said, 'Aleta, I think of you all the time. I don't know how you do it.'"

St. James - who is a spiritual healer, life coach and author - said she does it through good nutrition, workouts and sheer force of will. "I feel great," she said. "I have more energy than I ever had."
And she needs it.

Gian and Francesca are miniature whirlwinds.

During a photo shoot, they scrambled from chair to bed to floor, grabbing anything in reach.

In other words, they're typical toddlers. And as St. James tries to corral them, even with the help of the nanny, she sounds like a typical mom.

In fact, she says, she doesn't feel any different than the parents of the twins' classmates - and no one treats her like a soon-to-be senior citizen.

"I get down on the ground with everybody," she explains. "I'm playing 'choo-choo' like everybody else."
If anything, she thinks being a single mother presents more challenges than being the oldest mother in the country to give birth to twins.

She expects to live long enough to see Gian and Francesca into adulthood, but she's made sure they'll be taken care of if that doesn't happen.

"They have a legal guardian," she said. "They have a trust fund that's been set up for them for their education."
St. James, the sister of Guardian Angel and radio host Curtis Sliwa, said she hasn't reached out to other over-50 new moms for support since the well-publicized birth.

But older women thinking of having kids have enlisted the counseling services of St. James, who said she tried to get pregnant naturally until she was 53, when she turned to in-vitro fertilization.

"I will support anyone doing whatever they need to do and take it to the max," she said.

As the big 6-0 approaches, she said she couldn't think of any drawbacks to having babies so late in life.

Well, maybe one.

"I never thought I'd be bossed around by a 3-year-old," she laughs.




About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost our precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted there will be no more babies in our house.

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