Jul 24, 2011

It's been 16 years...

Sitting here now, it is hard to fathom everything we've gone through over the past 16 years.  You see, 16 years ago today, Shan was giving birth to our son.  I thought it would be fun to look back at things that were happening about 16 years ago: 
  • Microsoft unleashes Windows 95 on the world. During the unveiling, it crashes.
  • Something called a "DVD" hits the news. Supposedly it would replace VHS tapes. Pishaw! 
  • eBay is founded. 
  • Toy Story is released and we go watch it with our little baby boy. 16 years later, we have tons of Toy Story toys from those early days up to Toy Story 3.  
  • A year after Toy Story (well, a little sooner, but in '96 anyway), Pokemon is thrust upon the world and our son still loves it the way his father loves Star Wars.
  • Speaking of Star Wars, Tyler grows to love all things Star Wars - just like his old man, much to his mother's dismay. :-)
I believe we started taking family vacations the first summer after Tyler was born.  We've been to San Antonio (a couple times), New Orleans, Memphis (a couple times), Nashville, Dallas, Orlando, Washington DC, St. Louis, Branson, Chicago, New York City, and other destinations that escape my aging mind (but I'm sure Shan will happily fill in).

We've seen Tyler grow from a baby we could hold in the crook of my arm to a young man that stands nearly a head taller than I do.  We've seen him dressed in everything from nothing but undies, a cowboy hat and a guitar to a business suit.  He has seen things come along that we had not imagined at the time he was born: his sister, Emily; Playstation; Wii; ipods, ipads; netbooks; 9/11; the 2nd shuttle disaster; World Cup championships; Flurp; the completion of the Star Wars saga; the Red Sox winning the World Series; the Indians not doing so...

We've seen interests change from Pokemon to Barney to Yugioh to Star Wars.  Somewhere during all of this, girls went from having cooties to being cuties.  We've seen him grow from riding a stick horse to driving our family vehicles.  He's played baseball and basketball.  He's won a writing award and is a very good artist.  He loves his high-tech gadgets but will help out with his grandfather on the farm when asked. 

He's lived through the passing of his great grandparents and his "Poppy" (my Dad). 

Most of all, he is one of the greatest sons a parent could hope for.  By the time I was his age, I had already made quite a mess of things in my life (though I hid most of those pretty well, I think, and I certainly learned from them).  Tyler, on the other hand, is well-rounded and well-grounded.  Sure, we have our moments (and I'm sure many more to come as we travel through the rest of the teenage years), but I am VERY proud to call him SON. 

Happy Birthday, Tyler!  Welcome to the pre-adulthood period called "Sixteen!"  I love you, buddy!

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