Today, my oldest baby turns 13 - which officially makes him a "teen." Which means that until the last kid leaves the home, my husband and I will from here on out always have a teen in the house. That could be decades from now, so this is a major benchmark in family dynamics for us.
Wow, they were both babies in that photo! I remember my husband shaved his beard when Solomon was just a few weeks old, and it was hilarious seeing his confused reaction.
The picture above is with his cousins, the only other grandkids on my husband's side at that time. There now are 20! On my side, Solomon is the oldest of currently 11 grandchildren.
Doesn't he look just like Boaz in these photos? I have noticed that all of our kids look virtually identical as babies.
When Solomon was 9 months old, my sister-in-law gave us a digital camera. Suddenly, I could take pictures of my little dumpling!!!
Wow, I cannot believe we started having kids as young as we did! I mean, I am SO glad we did, and I have loved every minute of it - but look at us, we are practically kids ourselves! My husband gave me a reality check this week when he remarked that if Solomon became a Dad at the age that we had him, I would be a grandma in only 7 more years. Whaaaaaat? How can that be? I know I just gave birth to him, like, yesterday.
I remember that we didn't have a lot of money back then. In fact, the sandals in the picture above were Solomon's only pair of shoes, and I could only afford them because it was fall and they went on clearance. Also, all of the professional portrait pictures above were the one free promo photo offered by portrait studios. Except for the last one where he is standing in the box - I bought that one for an addition $15 because I just could not choose between that one, and the picture before. We really did not have the money for such luxuries - my grocery budget in those days was $40 per week - so buying that photo led to a fight with my husband (understandably so on his part). I remember telling him, "We will survive, and one day I will be so glad for that picture!" - and what can I say? One day is here, and I am thankful for the photo.
The pictures above were taken during Solomon's first trip to Germany with me. I was 7 months pregnant with Isaac at the time. That is my baby brother next to him, who I think looks just like my Johnny.
Thank you for bearing with me through these baby photos. As much as I would love to fill this post with dozens more of photos of my baby, I will spare you. Let's just have one more for each birthday, shall we?
2 years old
3 years old
4 years old
5 years old
7 years old
8 years old
9 years old
10 years old
11 years old
12 years old
Am I afraid of the teen years? No, not at all. While Solomon is maturing into a young man and an adult, with the necessary yearning for independence and making his own decision, he has never embraced the concept of rebellion being a necessary step in that process. He is kind and loving to friends and strangers, fiercely protective of me, and generally very responsible. I have no doubt that he will mature into a fine young man in the coming years, and that he will make us proud and happy, as he has always done so far.
Being the oldest, these milestones with him are of course harder on this mama, but like most things in life, it's bittersweet. When the first child is born, the parents are also born, so this is an anniversary of sorts for me, too. I am thankful that I have been able to spend virtually all of his waking hours with him up to this point in life, enjoy them to the fullest, and not have regrets as he grows older that we would have had more time together. While I do not love him any more than I love any of the younger kids, I have loved him the longest. Other than getting saved, becoming a parent has been the single greatest seismic shock in my life, and a huge step in growing up myself.
Happy Birthday, Solomon! You are a blessing, and have made me happy every single day since I found out we were expecting you. We are so very proud of you! :)