Boomeresque:Definition
1. Adj.: Describing a person born between 1 Jan. 1946 and 31 Dec. 1964
2. Adj.: Description of a person, place or thing possessing Baby Boomer je ne sais quoi
3. See also, Boomer, Esq.: A Baby Boomer who is also a licensed attorney (See, e.g., About).

Baby Boomer Memory Lane – The Marriage of Our First Born

by Suzanne Fluhr on May 3, 2013 · 50 comments

[Edited on February 7, 2016]

One of the rites of passage for many Baby Boomers these days is the marriage of our children.

Our older son, Ben, married Andrea. Before their marriage, they were a couple for four years, including two years of co-habitation. This was not a hasty, spur of the moment wedding. They had already purchased a house together prior to their marriage and they did all their own wedding planning—a huge relief for me since I am possibly one of the world’s worst party planners once the guest list is over 10 people.

Since Ben and Andrea did all the wedding planning, we didn’t know all that much about their wedding until the Big Day. It was lovely and several orders of magnitude more upscale than ours had been. I guess I realized this would be the case when in December of 2011, Ben called me:

Ben:  Mom, what do you know about diamonds?

Me:  Umm, nothing.

Steve (Mr. Excitement) and I were ( and some say, are) pretty intensely practical. No engagement ring. My wedding dress cost $35.00 at Loehmanns. Our marriage ceremony lasted about ten minutes in a rabbi’s study with only close family, followed by an open house reception in my parents’ small backyard catered by Foodarama (deli sandwiches). Our splurge was a honeymoon trip to Peru. Actually, I don’t think our priorities have changed all that much. We’ll definitely choose travel over diamonds every time.

Ben has lived independently since he left home three months after his college graduation. He’s a grown up. His impending nuptials spurred us into finally converting our VHS baby-child videos into a digital format. Consequently, I have spent many hours (when I was supposed to be doing other things) watching baby Ben morph into toddler Ben morph into teenage Ben morph into young adult Ben.

The young man who is all grown up, was:

  • A baby who never slept at night. Ever. He only wanted to sleep in the day time.

    Valley Forge National Historical Park Outside Philadelphia

    Ben visiting Valley Forge National Historical Park out side Philadelphia when he was 4 months old

  • A baby and toddler who considered a dose of oral liquid penicillin to be at least as serious as a total blood transfusion which is why I always had to ask the pharmacist to give me extra because a certain amount was guaranteed to end up on me, his father and the ceiling.
  • A toddler who had to be restrained by at least two adults for the pediatrician to be able to look in his ears with an otoscope.

    Baby getting his first haircut in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Ben getting his first haircut (not his first exorcism)

  • A three and a half year old big brother who took a few days to get his baby brother’s name right —“No, not Jimmy, not Jackery. Right, his name is Jeremy,” and who wanted Jeremy to get big so he could play. (This was Ben’s first lesson in, “Be careful what you wish for”. Jeremy grew up to be taller and an exercise physiology major with a special interest in weight training.)

    Pine Cobble Mountain, Williamstown, Massachusetts

    Ben, Jeremy and Steve after our hike up Pine Cobble, Williamstown, Massachusetts, in the Berkshire Mountains

  • A big brother who was a little rough with his toddler brother, but who begged us to erase the video recording documenting this behavior when we pointed out that Jeremy might not be too happy about this treatment when he saw the family video tapes when he grew up.

    Crystal Cave, Kutztown, Pennsylvania

    Ben and Jeremy during our visit to Crystal Cave, Kutztown, Pennsylvania

  • A little kid who held tightly onto my hand all the way up our block to the school on his first day of kindergarten, but who pulled his hand away half way there on the second day.

    Pumpkin Patch, Outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    On the first of our many annual pumpkin expeditions

  • The boy who loved to go to a farm to choose Halloween pumpkins and whose Halloween costumes were a purple dragon (when he fit into his lavender Dr. Dentons), a doctor with his Daddy’s doctor bag and med school stethoscope (until he outgrew the scrub pajamas a great aunt gave him as a birthday gift), a ghost (because even his mother could figure out how to make that costume), Superman (a costume again inspired by some pajamas), and a ninja (when his great grandmother gave him and his brother ninja costumes. But, seriously, Nona, we could have done without the “toy” nunchucks.)
  • The little boy whose eyes I saw as wide as saucers when I looked up from performing unsuccessful CPR on his grandfather.

    Fishing in Stone Harbor, New Jersey

    Ben mentoring his younger brother, Jeremy, on a fishing outing in Stone Harbor, New Jersey

  • The kid who rightly warned me not to bring his little brother along on a trip to the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg.

    Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

    Family trip from hell to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

  • The boy who I realized was taller than I on a family trip to Cozumel.

    Chakanab, Cozumel, Mexico

    12 year old Ben taller than I in Cozumel, Mexico

  • The fifteen year old who broke his leg rough-housing in a friend’s backyard, causing us to receive a Friday night phone call that went something like, “Ben is hurt. Ben is hurt bad.”
  • The teenager who insisted he and his brother no longer needed an after school babysitter because he would (and did) prepare dinner every night.
  • The college junior we insisted study in Sydney, Australia for a semester because we believe travel is a valuable part of education—who left his bank card in the photocopier in our town library and realized it was missing — when he got to Fiji.
  • The college senior who brought home, Bailey, the frat dog, for winter break, which showed me that I missed having a dog.

    Engagement Photo, Valley Green, Philadelphia, PA

    Andrea and Ben

  • The young man who introduced us to Andrea whom we all agree is an excellent match for him and who we “officially” welcomed into our family in May of 2013.
Cutting the wedding cake

Ben and Andrea cutting their wedding cake.

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Beth May 3, 2013 at 5:50 am

Congratulations, Suzanne! What a great trip through your memories of your child growing up. (As I was reading, I could hear myself paralleling with memories of my daughter, Lara.) He sounds like an amazing young man who was lucky to be born in an incredible family!

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avatar Jacqui Robinson May 3, 2013 at 6:04 am

Oh dear you made me all teary!
One thing, make sure the photographer knows who the family of the groom are – unlike our Scott’s wedding in December where I think the photographer thought my dear friend Sarah was the mother of the groom! Only one incidental picture of me kissing my son after the ceremony, and one of me caught unprepared on the end of a bench looking like my demented great aunt Mabel (if I had one!)

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 3, 2013 at 6:06 am

Oh my. I’ll keep your advice in mind and make sure the photographer knows who’s who.

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avatar Madaline Fluhr May 3, 2013 at 6:39 am

Great pics that so well capture Ben’s transformation from baby to adult. You are clearly not the one in the family with “executive function” issues. I could never get my hands on a picture chronology of my daughter on deman – I have lots of great pictures – but where are they? She may have to settle for a picture collage one day. I would make one edit in your post. Andrea doesn’t “seem” like a good match for Ben – she IS a good match for Ben – definitely a good match for us – we love her!!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 3, 2013 at 11:45 am

Mads, you’re absolutely right! We’re very happy that Ben found his match.

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avatar Sala Wyman May 3, 2013 at 7:22 am

Congratulations Suzanne! This post is one of my favorites–and you have given me many.
My best wishes for Ben and Andrea.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 3, 2013 at 11:46 am

Thanks, Sala.

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avatar Roz Warren May 3, 2013 at 9:11 am

Mazel tov! And I agree — the best present a mother-of-the-groom can get is a wedding that the kids plan themselves. Tom and Amy planned their own Bichon-themed wedding (2 years ago this month) and not only did it go off without a hitch but I had nothing to do with it! (other than kicking in a little cash toward paying for it.) http://www.womensvoicesforchange.org/yappily-ever-after.htm

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avatar Cathy Severson May 3, 2013 at 9:17 am

Wow, what a beautiful couple. Have a wonderful day and celebration.

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avatar Leora May 3, 2013 at 10:56 am

What a wonderful story – so happy for you, your son and your family. I enjoyed your comparison between your values and your son’s – even among my three children, they make different choices. May the wedding day be extra special for everyone.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 3, 2013 at 11:51 am

Seriously, Leora, if I hadn’t been conscious when both our sons were born, I might have wondered if they gave us the right babies. They are definitely their own people! Maybe that’s really our job as parents.

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avatar Andi Atamian May 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Love it. Maybe my son can still grow up too. Much mazel for all as you celebrate over this special wedding weekend.

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avatar Patti May 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm

We have a lot in common. We were married, in Honolulu, by a judge in his chambers with two strangers who worked for the judge as our witnesses. Our son, Dustin, is 29. He studied abroad for a semester at the University of Melbourne. He is getting married on May 25, 2014, when they marry they will have lived together for nearly 2 years. They recently bought a 100-year-old row house in a transitional neighborhood in Washington, D.C. and are happily making it their own. They are planning their wedding, an outdoor weekend destination wedding about 2 hours outside of D.C. He is our only child and I am finding this whole experience wonderfully surreal. We adore his fiance, they are soul mates and I’m glad they’re taking their time. Have a fabulous day tomorrow!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 3, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Wow. Those are indeed a lot of coincidences. Thanks for sharing.

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avatar Billie Elias May 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Congratulations to Ben and Andrea. They look like a darling couple; she’s going to be a beautiful bride. Please post pictures of the wedding…so happy for you all!

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avatar Liz Haff May 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm

A lovely post, Suzanne. Congratulations to one and all!

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avatar Kelly Wade May 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Good looking couple! I can only imagine what it like for a mom of a son who’s about to get married. I’m sure its a difficult thought, but remember you’re gaining a daughter not losing your son. And the wedding sounds like it will be fabulous!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 3, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Seriously, it’s not that difficult. I definitely feel that we’re gaining and not losing in this match. The truth is that women are a civilizing influence. Andrea is already Ben’s personal secretary—cards, thank you notes, etc. Just like I’ve been for my husband for 31 years and my mother was for 60 years.

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avatar anonymous reader with residual paranoia May 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Nicely done ; brought tears to my eyes.
You and Steve have been really good parents. The rest is up to Ben.,

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avatar Sandy May 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Very sweet. Congrats, Ben & Andrea!

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avatar Jeri May 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm

What a fun stroll down memory lane for you. Have a wonderful day tomorrow at the weekend.

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avatar Schweet Life May 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Awww, the photo stroll down memory lane was adorable. Congrats to Ben and Andrea!

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avatar Renee Levine May 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Dear Suzanne, Steve, Annette, Maddy and family and Jennifer and husband: The beginning of a growing family. Enjoy ! I think you will enjoy all the photos in the years
to come. Be sure to keep them where all can see. Best wishes, Renee

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avatar Leslie in Portland, Oregon May 3, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Congratulations, Suzanne! May the wedding be wonderful and the marriage even better!
And thank you for the delightful trip through Ben’s growing up…one of my favorite posts.

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avatar Sheryl Chernoff May 3, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Congratulations, Suzanne! Like you, our oldest son is also 29. He was married in 2008, and we have gained a wonderful daughter-in-law and a beautiful 1 3/4 year-old granddaughter. Enjoy the wedding (it goes by way too quickly) and the future!

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avatar Just One Boomer (Suzanne) May 3, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Thank you very much to everyone for your kind wishes.

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avatar Vivian Green McDorman May 3, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Suzanne…..MAZEL TOV! Your reflections brought back some special memories for me. My son, also named Ben was married in July 2012. He, too married a great girl who was a great match for him in every way. My Ben did the party thing; my Ben forgot and/or misplaced his belongings more times than I can count; the similarities go on. Thanks for making me smile! Enjoy every moment; savor each minute of the festivities; cherish each precious memory as they are being created….have the time of your life. Relax and enjoy it all. Job well done, mom……

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avatar Cathy Sweeney May 3, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Loved this post, Suzanne. What a great way to mark the occasion. Wonderful to read about Ben, see the great photos & learn a little more about you, too. All the best to the bride and groom!

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avatar Gill May 5, 2013 at 9:37 am

Suzanne, I hope the day went according to plan and that you have plenty of happy memories of the occasion to add to those of Ben growing up. Quite how it all whizzes by in a blink of the eye, I have no idea, but I hope you and Steve had time to sit back, to absorb the occasion and consider a job well done!

We’ll look forward to seeing photos of the happy couple!

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avatar Just One Boomer (Suzanne) May 5, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Thanks, Gill. I think the wedding went off as planned and even relatives who speak their minds said they had a very nice time 😉 Unfortunately, most of the photos I’ve seen so far are out of focus, so I might have to wait for some official ones before I post any.

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avatar Catarina May 5, 2013 at 9:52 am

Great story, Suzanne. Am very happy for you and your loved ones.

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avatar Leigh May 5, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Hope Saturday was a fantastic day for your whole family. I loved how you took us on a chronological journey with your son growing up. I have just over six months before I head to Costa Rica for my son’s destination wedding and eagerly anticipate it.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 5, 2013 at 11:12 pm

I must say, they put together an impressive wedding and we had a lovely day. Congratulations on your son’s impending nuptials. I wish someone would invite me to a destination wedding in Costa Rica—or just about anywhere for that matter. As they say in Costa Rica, “pura vida”.

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avatar budget jan May 6, 2013 at 2:48 am

Hope the wedding day did not bring too many (of your) tears. I can imagine it would be happy but a little sad also… Both our children are unmarried for now. It is nice to reflect on the succession of photos. I did this for our kids 21st birthdays. Thank goodness for photos to remind us of their different stages. 🙂

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne (Just One Boomer) May 6, 2013 at 11:18 am

No tears. People keep expecting us to be sad, but we’re just happy. Maybe it’s because our son is 29 and has been with his now wife for 5 years. We feel like we’ve added (not lost) to our family. “To everything, there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.”

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avatar Susan Cooper May 6, 2013 at 6:24 pm

I so love this post. It’s times like these that all the memories come rushing back. It’s bitter sweet. On one hand you have raised a great w=young man who is not moving in in his life. On the other hand it does mark that time is passing way to quickly… Sigh! Congratulation on your son’s marriage and I hope it was a wondrous day for you. 🙂

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 7, 2013 at 3:08 am

Thanks again to all for your very kind thoughts. We still don’t have any official wedding photos, but I’ve posted two taken by a cousin on Boomeresque’s Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.364293317014260.1073741825.158243297619264&type=1

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avatar Irene S. Levine May 10, 2013 at 8:26 am

Mazel tov!

Thanks for taking us on this wonderful trip with you~

All the best to Ben & his bride. May they have many, many more years of happiness together.

Irene

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avatar Vanessa Jane Holburn May 11, 2013 at 5:23 am

Oh my, what a lovely trip down memory lane. I hope I have as many happy (and amusing) stories to recount when my two get hitched. Have a lovely day!

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avatar Madhu Bhardwaj June 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm

I loved reading your post. The photos that you have used make the story come alive.
Congratulations on your son’s wedding.

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avatar nan @ lbddiaries May 25, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Saw this and came over to see – I’m so glad I did. What a wonder tribute to your son through the ages! His wife is as beautiful as he is handsome!!

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