Sixteen! Whaaat? But I Was Just Sixteen!

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.

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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!


  • Mom24

    Happy Birthday. What a great post. He seems like such a terrific kid. Cheer up, I’m your age, and I have a 24 year old. You’re only as old as you feel!

  • Kat

    Happy Birthday to a wonderful son. I almost laughed my head off when I read about the things he said when he was little. What a hilarious boy. “It’s on now”.

    Hope you’re all going to have a wonderful day celebrating his 16th!

  • House of Jules

    I still can’t believe it…

    I want to point at him and say, “WOOKIT DIS!” (I probably will at least 10 times tonight).

  • Melissa

    16, wow..I’ll bet it just seems like yesterday he was a little baby!! Happy Birthday, oldest so! 🙂

  • Dette

    lol – what an awesome post. Happy Birthday to the big guy – isn’t it amazing how quickly time flies?

    LOVE the pic at the tree – you can tell what a great sense of humor he has just by looking at it 🙂

  • Crazed Mom

    Happy Birthday!

    He looks os tall. My 17yo’s x-rays show his growth plates are not fused which means 5’10” is not his last height. YIKES! Kid eats like elephant.

    My kid was tons of fun until 16.5. I hope yours stay fun. I’m getting payback for being such a brat when my parents moved me cross country during my junior year. If I’d only known it’d come back to haunt me.

    Great post Melisa.

  • devilish southern belle

    Awww, happy birthday to your son! Your photo tribute makes me want to cry, because my oldest son is turning 16 in November. I still don’t know where all that time went!


  • Anonymous

    Wow! Just WHERE did that time go? What a great blog Melisa. Like you, your husband, and sister, Dylan (and Jason) make us so very proud to be parents and grandparents! What a family! Our hearts are bursting with pride yet again! Mom and I did GOOD! There is absolutely NOTHING better to contibute to the world than great kids who grow up to be better than great adults. Happy 16 birthday to Dylan and congratulations to you and Jim!

    Love you all..

    Mom and Dad 🙂

  • Colleen

    Happy, happy birthday, baby!

    Great trip down memory lane. Hope you all have a great day celebrating his birthday!

  • Sue

    Happy sweet 16!
    Nice post from your parents and hey, you both look like you are 16 in the newborn photo!

  • Dea

    You have me in tears! It’s scary how fast they do this! 🙁 He’s such a great kid – guy, now, eh? Man, I need a drink just thinking of the basket case I will be in a brief 9 years….

    LOVE the pictures through the years, and the sweet sayings!!! 😀