Watching my Son Grow: a Photographic History

When my son was born twenty years ago, one of the gifts we received was a bouncy seat. He was a big baby (9lbs 2 ozs, 23″), so from the very start he was comfortable in his little chair.

Newborn baby, bouncy seat, history through pictures, baby boy, memories of my baby, son, midlife, empty nest, boomers
3 days old, 1992

Needless to say, we took a lot of pictures of our kids when they were growing up – and I decided it would be fun to take my son’s picture in the bouncy chair each month of his first year to document his growth. When you are a stay-at-home mom of little children, you need to find ways to entertain yourself – and your kids.

It was such fun taking his picture every month, that I decided to do it every year until he was 18. On his birthday. With the same bouncy seat. There were many who said I’d never stick with it, but I did. Every year on his birthday I would drag out the seat from its spot on a high shelf in the garage, wrapped in a big green garbage bag, and no matter what else was going on, we would take my son’s picture on that day. We never, ever missed. Now we have a wonderful pictorial history of our son growing up.

baby pictures, birthday pictures, annual photos, baby boy, my son, memories, bouncy seat, midlife, empty nest, baby boomers
1 year old, 1993
little boy picture, cute little boy, Adam Greenthal, 4 year old boy, pictures, childhood photos, empty nest, midlife, baby boomer
3 years old – 1995
Adam Greenthal, little boy, birthday, little boy sleeping, my son, annual photo, family, midlife, empty nest, baby boomer
4 years old, 1996

I never gave having a son much thought. Whenever I pictured myself as a mother, I always saw a little girl. I was so happy when my daughter was born – I had my girl. Of course I always wanted a boy, so we could have that “ideal” family, but not in the way I wanted a girl.

Adam Greenthal, birthday photo, 1998, annual picture, childhood photos, memories, my son, cute little boy, midlife, empty nest, baby boomer
6 years old, 1998
Adam Greenthal, child growing up, bouncy seat, backyard with pool, 8 year old boy, cute little boy, empty nest, midlife, baby boomer
8 years old, 2000

But then my son was born, and I lost my heart. I had no idea how much I would love my little boy. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of that little boy in my son, now a twenty year old man, and I get very sentimental. Kind of like, well, writing this post. Luckily he doesn’t mind…too much. He’s nice that way.

Adam Greenthal, 12 year old boy, bouncy seat, annual photo, memories, adolescent boy, midlife, empty nest, baby boomers
12 years old, 2004
Adam Greenthal, 15 year old boy, annual photo, pictures, bouncy seat, memories, teenage boy, midlife, empty nest, baby boomer
15 years old, 2007

I didn’t do these annual pictures with my daughter. I didn’t think of it when she was born. But that’s ok. I kind of like that this was something special that we did just for my son, to celebrate him every year, and to keep a tradition that we all enjoyed. The older he got, the sillier that little chair looked next to him…but that was the point.

Adam Greenthal, 16 year old boy, bouncy seat, backyard with pool, annual photo, tradition, memories, empty nest, midlife, baby boomers
16 years old, 2008
Adam Greenthal, 18 years old, bouncy seat, annual photo, final photo, backyard, 18 year old man, my son, midlife, empty nest, baby boomer
18 years old, 2010 – the final bouncy seat photo.

My, how he’s grown.

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