Yikes. Jim and I are now old enough to have a sixteen-year-old son. I can’t believe how quickly the years have flown by. It seems like yesterday he was only a baby! We used to tell the kids on every birthday (TEASING! TEASING! But not really), “You have X years left before you’re outta here!” (subtracting new age from the number 18) This boy started telling people that when he was a youngster: “Well, I’m nine now. Only nine more years before I have to get out of the house.” When he became a teen, the reality set in that this time was going to fly by, and maybe it wasn’t necessary for him to leave right at eighteen. Now that he’s sixteen (and getting his license in the next two weeks!), I will not utter those words. In fact, the idea that he will be eighteen in two years and ready to really spread his wings makes me sad and panicky. So let’s not talk about that, shall we?

He was born on, as he used to say, “June twenny-firss. Firss day of summer.” We tease him and tell him how June 21 is not only the longest day of the year, but it was the longest day in our lives. (ha ha?) Although we were completely and totally blessed at the end, his birth was, let’s say, not fun for anybody involved. But that’s another story.

Yesterday in the car with Aunt Julie and the boys, we were reminiscing about things the kids used to say and do when they were younger. We were laughing our heads off. Wait: that was mostly Julie and me.

Examples of the SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD’s adorable past? Here we go!

*He would hold out his hands (like Vanna White) and say, “Wookit dis!” (look at this)

*”SARABI!” (from the Lion King: he would stand up and scream her name, just like Scar did)

*He used to spin himself around, say he was “Makin’ dizzy”, and then when he stopped spinning he would, in his altered state, sway back and forth and say “It’s on now!”

*He would declare, “Grandpa says NO!”

*He used to answer his many toy phones by quickly putting one to his ear and saying “Ho?”

I could type up memories for hours, but maybe we need some photo help:

11 days old. Photo courtesy of Aunt Julie. This is one of my all-time favorites. Precious! July 1, 1992

Another Aunt Julie photo masterpiece. His intensity even as an infant startled many, and was commented on quite often. He is still extremely intense today. Unfortunately, he gets different types of intensity from both parents, so he’s sort of got the double-whammy going for him!

Our first family photo! Jim looks about 16 in this photo, but he’s not…October 1992

The boy was afraid of grass, because he was more than 8 months old before the Wisconsin weather allowed us to show it to him.

I often found him sucking on my shoelaces, and then cackling about it. Gross.

When his brother was born, he handled it quite well, for the most part. They may annoy each other now and then, but when it comes right down to it, he is still just as protective now as he looks in this photo.


He had the role of the Kolokolo Bird in his fourth grade play, “The Elephant’s Child” by Rudyard Kipling. He and his headdress became quite well-known around the school, all because of the delivery of his greatest line: “CAW!!!!”

The epitome of cool.

I love this one. Camping with Dawn and family, 2004

Confident and composed on the eve of his Bar Mitzvah, 2005

I’ve never seen anybody so proud of a broken bone.

Self-portrait: Me and him, Bahamas 2007

Julie has taken photos of the kids in this same tree for the past few years, and I did the same for her Aunt’s Day photo collection last year. This is his favorite pose. We’re not sure why, but it is hilarious. (Maybe that’s why?)

Of course, this is how you all know him more recently…

He has made us prouder and prouder as the years have gone on. It seems totally wrong to have such a kind, generous, caring, smart, and funny teenager (two actually) who we can claim as our son(s); aren’t teens supposed to be wicked and spiteful? Not this one! Happy Birthday to our old(er) son! We love you very, very much!