Monday, March 08, 2010

A Sweet Sixteen Years

Years ago, I saw a piece in the old Life Magazine, a photoessay. It was a series of pictures taken of a father and daughter at the shore over many years. After seeing a picture of my son and I that was taken in late 1994, when he was about 7 months old, I started a similar series. The last one was three years ago. The backdrop of the picture, beginning with the first one, was a movie poster given to me about 25 years ago by an old girlfriend; she'd picked four old movie posters up at a flea market. About five years later, I had them framed. One of them was in my basement a few years ago when we had a flood, but I dried it out quickly-- I've done some research and found out it'll be easily restored.

The poster we have done the picture in front of over all these years was a classicly "B" movie, The Bellboy and the Playgirls, which was co-written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

As I mentioned, the picture above was taken when he was about 7 months old. I'd just cut my hair-- it had been very long when he was born. I'll be posting soon about why I cut it.

The picture above was taken when he was about two years old. Generally he was pretty happy, but for some reason he was grouchy when the picture was taken. This was the last one taken by his mother, and the last one taken when we were living together. We split soon after the picture was taken. Maybe that's why he was grouchy.

The above picture was taken when he was four. It was the first picture taken in the apartment we live in now. My custody fight with my ex-girlfriend was over, and you can see it in his face. He's back to being his cheerful self. He insisted on holding the toy truck, one of his favorite toys, in the picture.

This one was taken when he was ten. He was all about baseball and books then. If I look tired in this picture, I was. Cynthia (wife #2) and I had split, and it was just he and I. I worked full time as a sixth grade teacher and worked a second job as a waiter so that we could stay in this place. I worked every shift I possibly could.

This was taken when he was 12. His interest in music, big when he was a tot, had returned big time.

This picture was taken three years ago, when he turned 13. Kim and Mel had moved in; one of them took the picture.

Yesterday, he turned 16. I took this picture myself using the auto-timer.

Normally he smiles and combs his hair. And I can't believe how much I look like my dad in this one.

We had a nice birthday weekend. Friday night, we had carryout from Smoque Barbecue, a place I've been hearing some serious buzz on for a couple of years. The buzz was justified. Ribs, brisket, pulled pork, bbq chicken, great coleslaw and baked beans-- it was quite a treat. He got a couple of t-shirts, a couple of books-- John Maynard Keynes' "A General Theory of Employment," and Deedee Ramones' autobiography. And a dvd/cd/t-shirt collection of Spinal Tap.

We Skyped my parents on Sunday and went out for a couple of hours of driving practice. The driving practice paid off; today, my ex took him in to the DMV and he got his driver's license. As if I didn't feel old enough already.

I can't believe 16 years has gone by so fast. And I can't believe how much I've enjoyed being a parent. Happy Birthday, Sonny Boy.


SamuraiFrog said...

Wonderful post. Happy Birthday to the Dude!

SkylersDad said...

What a great tradition to take the same photo across the years.

LegalMist said...

Neat photo series. I agree - it's amazing how fast time goes by with kids.

Happy 16th birthday to your son!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

You two are turning into the same person.

Churlita said...

That is such a cool idea. Wish I'd though of it. happy birthday to your boy. It could be worse, he could be turning into a legal adult in May like my daughter. Talk about feeling old....

Erik Donald France said...

This is the greatest! I'm WAY behind on catching up with blogs, but will return at the weekend!

Happy birthday, belated!

Erik Donald France said...

That is SO cool, the series of photos. Love it!