Our baby is 30 years old today.
We were living in Idaho when I delivered this 10-pound, cuddle-bug spud.
He arrived after just a couple hours in the birthing chair, which was a fairly new contraption at the time. I knew he was a boy, even though I'd never had an ultrasound. My belly was completely round and solid, like a basketball.
When he was three weeks old, we moved to Virginia. When he was three years old, we moved to Sicily. When he was five, we moved to Florida. He's lived here ever since.
In our Air Force-career family, he's the only child who has a best friend from second grade. Here are the buddies in 8th grade graduation gowns, looking junior-high cool.
Here they are at the birthday boy's wedding, looking grown-up cool.
This child, our baby, was born six years after our daughter, because after her harrowing seizure experience (click here if you missed it) we wondered if our genes had a tendency to go haywire. We just didn't know.
So, for awhile, we thought two youngins was likely enough.
Then, I babysat for a friend's newborn.
And that was it. My heart began to yearn, and my womb began to squirm.
Just one more, I said to my apprehensive husband. We talked about it for a long time.
And then...we stepped out in faith. This one won't have seizures, I said. It might have other problems, but it won't have seizures.
And he never did.
This child was a joy from the beginning. Our nine-year old son was happy it was a boy. His young, growing frame carried his little brother around with strength and confidence.
Our daughter was happy to have a younger sibling to instruct and boss around, if need be. She taught him to hate tomatoes.
My hubby and I were more relaxed parents, and this tater-tot was just pure fun. (He didn't sleep through the night until he was eleven months old, but we don't hold that against him anymore.)
He was a charming little character with an easy disposition. That is still true today. His calm, affable nature is one of his most admirable traits.
He was a delightful youngster who loved baseball cards and Kraft macaroni and cheese. He was a mature-for-his-age teen. He never gave us a lick of trouble.
Frankly, I don't know how we got such a great kid. My husband and I aren't that delightful, or mature.
He's like the best of all of us: he is tall and confident like our older son, open-hearted and generous like our daughter, a hard worker like his dad, and a Lost fan like his mom. What more could you want in your offspring?
He completed our family and blessed it with his wonderful little self.
As an adult, he continues to brings good things to our family. Seven years ago, he married his college sweetheart.
She is engaging and genuine and lovely. Together, they look outward to see how they can contribute to their world. I cannot tell you how beautiful and impressive this is.
Earlier this year, they had a son.
These thirty years have flown. It seems like just yesterday Zach was two, sharing cake with his grandpa.
I love this grainy, old photo. I cannot imagine our life without this endearing child, the one we almost didn't have.
Happy, blessed birthday, beloved son.
All our love...
Mom and Dad