Sunday, September 28, 2014

Solomon is a teen!

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

6 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! :)

6 comments:

  1. Wow! Your kids do look so much alike! At the 7 year picture, I thought John was Becky!! (Whoopsie! LOL)
    I remember the 8 year pic :-) Must have been reading for a long time!

    Love,
    Joy

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  2. Happy Birthday to Solomon, and many congratulations to YOU for doing such an awesome job for 13 years! Your children are amazing, and I can't wait to see what the next phase looks like for your wonderful family.

    Love,
    Diana

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  3. d'awww! congrats little (or big!) man on thirteen years of life! May you have triple that and more!

    I think its amazing to see children at stages of their lives and remember stages of your life, the progression is absolutely beautiful and it is a really humbling reminder sometimes, if you love god and your family then the infinite good will come to you.

    This was a sweet blog post, enjoyed thinking about the luxury of photography and overall happiness. I think anything for your kid is justified, even if its a little thing if it reminds you how precious (and rapid!) life is.

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  4. The teen years are only a nightmare for parents who haven't done their jobs from birth to 12 :) My teenagers are delightful, as are most of their friends. What a nice little tribute to your firstborn. Blessings.

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  5. I like that quote, that you don't love him more, but you have loved him the longest.

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  6. My oldest is turning 14 in a couple months and, like you, I find myself wondering "when did THIS happen?? I'm sure it was just yesterday when I bright him home from the hospital all tiny, pink, and brand new!" Now he can pick me up! Ha! And thinks it's just HILARIOUS to do so unexpectedly...he comes sneaking up behind me and picks me up before I know what's happening...little stinker! However, I relate to your description of Soloman not following the stereotypical path of "rebellious teen", as mine is also sooooo far from that it's unimaginable at this point. VERY responsible, loving, an excellent care taker and compassionate towards his younger siblings, and just generally very "proper" in his behavior and attitude. I think sometimes that's just typical of first born children, especially the boys. Anyway, congratulations on 13yrs with your Lil man, and I'm wishing you many many MANY more to come! :-) :-) :-) Happy Birthday Soloman!!!

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