It is worth remembering that this blog began 13 years ago tomorrow.  It grew out of a project that Veronica had to do in library school (create a website) that she designed to allow the family members who we weren’t seeing very often (which was all of them as we had recently moved to Boston) to watch Thomas as he grew up.  So the Welcome to our new blog. was filled with pictures from Thomas’ third birthday.  Sadly, we’re about to move again (just 50 yards down the hall to a bigger apartment), so this is the fourth of his last seven birthdays with most of our stuff in boxes (not to mention all the stuff we normally do for his birthday – the Zoo, movies – closed because of COVID).  But today we are celebrating our boy (who’s not learning how to drive so don’t even ask) by taking a look through the years.

2004

Thomas was born on June 20.  Thanks to a very long labor, he was actually born on Father’s Day and there’s really no better present you can get than becoming a father for the first time on Father’s Day.  This picture was taken on June 23 just after we came home from the hospital and was the first picture anyone ever saw of him, though my parents and his Uncle John #1 (of 3) got to see him at the hospital.

2005

This is Veronica’s favorite picture of Thomas, taken on the 6th of August.  They are sitting on the floor of my parents’ kitchen and she is feeding him blueberries.

2006

This picture was taken on 30 August.  We had gone to Toronto for a weekend and on the way back had stopped in Albany, New York, where I had grown up.  There is a small playground on the access road that leads into the back entrance of the high school, just a block from where I lived until I was six.  This is Thomas on the slide in that playground.  He’s wearing his “froggies and turtles” shirt, probably our favorite shirt from when he was small.

2007

Veronica grew up loving the stories of Thornton Burgess.  Our first weekend in Boston we went to the Thornton Burgess House in Sandwich but it was closed for Labor Day.  Eating lunch in Sandwich, a cop car went by with the sirens ablaze and Uncle John #1 said “There’s an emergency in East Sandwich,” and Veronica immediately quipped, “Someone forgot the pickle.”  We would finally make it to the House in August of 2007 on our way home from Cape Cod and Thomas would get a shirt that was way too big and thus lasted for years.  Veronica and Thomas went again in 2016 with her dad and got him another shirt and so, even four years later with massive growth spurts, Thomas can still wear it, at least as pajamas.

2008

Veronica’s dad, Ron, planted this tree when Thomas was born.  This how it looked just over four years later on our visits.  Today, it’s far taller than Thomas even though Thomas has grown to be quite tall.

As an extra bonus, here’s out first video of Thomas taken in December of 2008:

2009

Veronica would post this picture of Thomas to Facebook with the heading “Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”

Here’s another video of him, this one where he shows he doesn’t do the best job of listening at times:

2010

This picture from March covers two things that Thomas likes to do: art projects and wearing hats that aren’t his.

2011

Wall Drug is an insane tourist trap that will drive a lot of people insane.  That being said, I find it to be kind of endearing.  This picture was taken deliberately to replicate a picture we had taken on our journey to Boston in 2005 in the exact same spot.

2012

Sometimes Thomas has gone with costumes that were handed down (he was a clown in a costume made by my mother originally from my brother back in 1968) or with costumes that were purchased (he’s been Spider-Man).  But sometimes he’s had very specific ideas about what he wanted to be for Halloween and Veronica, by god, was going to come through.  This is when he decided he wanted to be Ruff Ruffman from the wonderful PBS show Fetch with Ruff Ruffman.  It was no stranger than the next year when he wanted to be a vending machine.

2013

This was perfect confluence at work.  It was the day after Thanksgiving and Veronica had to work.  So Thomas and I took the T into Boston and walked around.  It turned out that the Duckling statues in the Boston Public Gardens had scarves for winter.  I wanted to get a picture of Thomas on the Mama Duck and he decided to pull off his Cookie Monster hat and put it on the Mama Duck’s head.  I got this wonderful picture and we immediately decided it would be our Christmas card for that year.

2014

My siblings and I all have sproutsticks.  They were all made by my mother and when Thomas was born, I had her make one for Thomas as well.  This is his tenth birthday and as you can see from down below, he’s grown a lot in the last six years.

2015

When Thomas graduated from elementary school, his school had the wonderful idea of putting up everyone’s fifth grade pictures together with their kindergarten pictures to show how much they had grown while at Stratton.

2016

Twelve years after Uncle John #1 was at the hospital for Thomas’ birth, Thomas paid him back by being ring-bearer for John’s wedding to Aunt Suz in Washington near Mount Saint Helens over Memorial Day weekend.

2017

Like with music, Thomas’ love affair with swimming has waxed and waned over the years.  But here he is, quite happy in the pool in Coronado when my family gathered for my mother’s 75th birthday in July.

2018

Ten years sure makes a difference in the size of trees and little boys!

2019

Thomas’ happy place has always been the zoo, no matter what zoo.  In this picture, taken at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, he’s actually wearing a shirt from the Stone Zoo (that’s a bear leaping through the air on his shirt – the caption says: “Bears Love People: They Taste Like Chicken”).  We’re hopeful to get back to at least the Safari Park soon (both the Zoo and the Safari Park re-open today but the Safari Park allows for greater social distancing and his favorite thing at the Zoo is the Skyfari and that’s not opening any time soon).

2020

So this is Thomas today with his sproutstick.  He passed Veronica long ago.  The picture is a bit deceptive since Veronica, who took it, is short.  He’s really at about 5’10”.  And he’s 16!!!!