So come the storms of winter and then the birds in spring again
I have no fear of time
For who knows how my love grows?
And who knows where the time goes?
--Who Knows Where the Time Goes, Fairport Convention
A few weeks ago, my son's mother reminded me that I needed to take "the picture."
When my son Adam was about 7 months old, she took this picture of him with me. It happened to by one of my treasured B-Movie posters, from 1962 movie "The Bellboy and the Playgirls."
Laugh, but it was written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola!
Years ago, I saw this wonderful series of photos in Life Magazine. It was of a young father and his daughter at the beach. In the first pictures, he was a young, vigorous guy and she was an infant. Year after year, they would take a picture at the beach and eventually, she was a pretty young woman and he was an old man. I decided to do my homage to this.
In the first picture, I'd just had my hair cut. I had had hair down around my shoulders up until that point. One night, I was changing his diaper, and he grabbed a handful of my hair. I figured that if I lifted my head up, he'd let go. Wrong. He hung on, until he was completely off the bed, swinging from my hair like Tarzan, laughing his ass off. I decided the next day that my experiment with long hair was done.
In the next picture, he was about 2 years old. It's amazing how much he had slimmed down from the last picture.
This was the last "Bellboy" picture Adam and I did while I was living with his mother. We split the next year.
This one was taken when Adam was about 4. His mother and I had had a rough custody fight-- it was hard on him, but when the dust settled, he got back to being his cheerful self. He's holding his then-favorite toy, a Clark Gas truck.
It was the first picture we took in the house we're currently living in, in 1998. It was also the last one I took where I could pick him up.
The toy lobster in the foreground, a gag gift to me years ago from my kid brother, was his favorite toy when he was a year or so old. I noticed this weekend that he still has it.
The next picture was taken a few years ago, when he was about ten. He'd started wearing glasses when he was 8 or so. I'd gone back to contacts.
I was single and struggling to keep this apartment, which was the only stable home Adam had-- his mother moved repeatedly. I look tired in this picture for good reason-- I was working constantly-- in my job as a sixth grade teacher, and picking up every shift I could at the restaurant I work at. I can't remember who took the picture-- I think it was my friend Jim. It was the last picture taken with a regular camera.
The next picture, then, was the first taken with a digital camera, my Canon SD450. I set it on the television/stereo shelves and set the timer for ten seconds.
And today, my son turned 13. I am now the father of a teenager. We celebrated his birthday this weekend by going to his favorite Chinese Buffett, the one at the Ashland-Wellington Plaza. He ate with chopsticks as the rest of us-- my wife Kim, my stepdaughter Mel and I-- ate with forks and spoons. Here's the picture we took this weekend. It was taken by my stepdaughter, with my Canon.
I couldn't resist one more. Adam's mother, as I've mentioned in previous posts, is Chinese-American. In her culture, there's a tradition where you don't take a newborn out of the house for the first month. At one month, you have a big party with friends and family. You serve food, including hard-boiled eggs that are dyed red.
This picture was taken at that party by my old friend Larry Smith, who is a reporter these days for the Hartford Courant. He's also an outstanding amateur photographer and took beautiful photos of my wedding in December 2005.
Happy Birthday, son!