Monday, January 13, 2014

7QTF: Snapshots of Boys to Men (Not to Be Confused with Boyz II Men)

I'm a little late to the 7 Quick Takes Friday party--but on Friday, I spent most of the day traveling down to VA to attend a bridal shower for son #4's lovely fiancée.  Before I left, very, very early in the a.m., I published a post I had all ready to go in my "drafts" pile, so that my husband wouldn't be disappointed when he checked later on to see if I'd blogged that day.  (It was bad enough that I had gone off and left him for the weekend [sniff, sniff]; the least I could do was to make sure he had that link between us that he looks forward to whenever we're apart.)  But I was really hoping to link up with the Takers over at Jen's as well.  So here I am, a few days late and mucho dollars short.

Two of my sons (#3 and #4) live together down in VA.  Well, actually they no longer live together, because son #3 got married in December and he now shares a cozy little apartment on the grounds of the UVA campus with his beautiful new bride, Preciosa.  But until that happened, for the past couple of years the boys shared first a condo and then a house owned by their aunt.  Son #4 is still in the house, which he is now sharing with both of the brothers' big old lovable mutts...and a whole lot of dog hair.  When she heard I was coming to the shower, my sister-in-law invited me to stay with her a few doors down from my boy; but when I arrived, I was touched to see that he'd washed some sheets just for me, to put on the double bed in what used to be the master bedroom where his older brother slept when they were bachelor pad-dwellers together.  So he had clean sheets ready, and plenty of K-cups for the Keurig--so of course I decided to stay with my son.  How could I resist an invitation like that--especially when I know that although he rarely changes the sheets on the bed he shares with the two dogs, he had changed them for me?  That, my fellow moms, is an offer that is much too good to refuse.

This is the way my two VA boys look now (in a photo take on December 7, when son #4 on the left was best man at his older brother's wedding): they are strapping lads, well over 6 feet tall, with smiles that melt this mother's heart.

But their smiles always did melt me.  When I was down there staying at my son's place in VA, I came across a little photo album I'd made for son #3 years ago, and I grew very nostalgic flipping through its pages.  Let me show you these two boys (now men), in grainy snapshots from the pre-digital camera age.  They were always the best of buddies growing up, as you'll be able to plainly see.

That's son #3 on the right in this photo from 1988, the day we brought his baby brother home from the hospital.  While our oldest (who was 4) admired and patted the new baby softly, our 21-month-old mama's boy wasn't so sure about the whole thing.  Not sure at all.  But it didn't take long before his father and I were calling him and the new addition "Frick and Frack," because they were so inseparable.

Six months later, here are the besties.  This one kills me.  Not long after this photo was taken in the summer of 1988, son #4 (who was almost 11 pounds and over 2 feet in length at birth) weighed the same as his lanky older brother.

Fast forward to 1990.  Where one goes, the other follows.
Is it me, or are little boys with mussy hair the cutest things ever?

Here's a winner from Christmas 1990.  Some might say these two look like they were dressed for an "ugly sweater" party.  But I say is it me, or are little boys dressed up to go to their older brothers' school Christmas concert the cutest things ever?  A dapper duo they were, indeed.

This 1991 shot absolutely cracks me up.  Son #3 (right) was 5 years old and his little sidekick was about 3-and-a-half, and they were champing at the bit to follow in their older brothers' footsteps and go to school.  I got them these backpacks when I went back-to-school shopping for sons #1 and #2, and they dutifully carried their toys and other essentials around in them, happy as clams to be like the "big guys."

These two boys were always there for each other, for every milestone and significant event in each other's lives.  Here they are in 1993, celebrating son #3's 7th birthday.

And they continue to be there for each other now that they're men--as the first photo up there illustrates.

[Sigh...]  [Deep sigh...]

Thanks for indulging me, dear readers, while I took that little stroll down my favorite street, Memory Lane.  I probably do this sort of thing a bit too often on this blog.  But I am one of the few Catholic "mom bloggers" that I've come across in my cyber-travels whose children are all grown-up and out on their own, so I suppose that gives me a different perspective to share.  I think, however, that sometimes I sound somewhat maudlin when I reminisce, and if so I must apologize.  I don't want any readers who are currently wrangling toddlers and nursing precious newborns to dread the passing of time and be obsessed with the idea that before they know it, their babies won't be babies anymore.  Because although that's true (as you may have heard, time does fly!), there is much more to rejoice about when you witness this circle-of-life phenomenon than there is to lament.  All I have to do to remind myself that trying to stop the clock would be the worst thing in the world is to think about the boy-now-man who washed sheets for me this weekend, hoping I would be a guest in his house, and his best friend, the boy-now-man who is at once a doting son and a doting husband.  All I have to do is to look at the picture up there in Take #1, and I realize how very abundantly I have been blessed!

Now head on over to Jen's for more Quick Takes--from bloggers who got theirs posted in a timelier fashion than I did.


  1. I love this and these photos!!

    1. I know, there's nothing like these old snapshots. Sometimes I think it's such a bummer that they aren't clear and professional-looking, like all the digital pics I take now. But then again, at least back then, I actually printed out hard copies of all the pictures I took!

  2. These pictures are darling... ~ Country Girl's Daybook
    Recently posted: Where to get really good jeans (and my new favorite sweater). ->

    1. Thanks, Iris--they were (are) such sweet boys!

  3. aw washed your sheets, you did well!! I was thinking along these lines recently when my son 14 had to vacate his room for visiting uncle's new fiancee and he went and cut her some flowers to brighten the room.

    you don;'t make me feel maudlin at all, actually you give me hope for the joy to be found in the years ahead of me when all grown and flown. I love reading the pride and joy that comes across, I want to be you when I grow up{{}}

    oh and recently found a Catholic mum blogger of all grown up girls
    and I'm assuming you've seen the mother and daughter blog of Leila and girls?

    1. Fresh cut flowers! Wow, that is impressive!

      I'm glad I don't come across as a sad sack. Truly, I often think fondly of the bygone days, but I wouldn't go back and miss what we have now.

      I'm checking out those blog sites!

  4. I agree with Erin. You got clean sheets on the guest bed. You RATE! Mission accomplished, Mom! And I love seeing this, because I am another "more seasoned" mom; my oldest just turned 22 and the youngest is creeping up on 12.

    1. I guess there are more of us with older children than I realized, Barb. So many of the blogs I read are written by pregnant moms, or moms with infants and toddlers. I used to think I was the only blogging grammy around, but I've "met" some others recently.

      It goes so fast, doesn't it? I still can't quite believe that my oldest is 30!

  5. Your photos of memories from the past are fun to see! I have so many pics of my daughter as a child but of my grandchildren I only have studio portraits. All the pics that my daughter and I have of them are digital!

    1. I know--that's the downside of the digital age! I used to print out all my photos and put them into albums right away. I only have a handful of hard copies of photos of my granddaughters in my house. The rest are on my computer or on CD's and flashdrives. There are so many that I get overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to weed through them to decide which ones to print!