Christel Khalil Chrsitmas Photo Shoot, son michael cade, jpi days
Credit: John Paschal/JPI

“You are my sunshine.”

Just this week, we celebrated the news that Young & Restless’ Christel Khalil (Lily) is about to grow her family growing by one — not with a new baby on the way, but with the news that she and longtime boyfriend Sam Restagno are now engaged! That’s amazing news, but we think it’s probably safe to say that her son, Michael Caden, will probably always be the number one little man in her life!

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Today, that little man is just a bit bigger, though, as he celebrates his 12th birthday. Just one more year to go until Khalil’s got a dreaded teenager in her house! Somehow, though, we have a feeling mom and son will do just fine into his teens and beyond. They share a heartwarming bond that shines through in every photo and every post she shares.

Don’t believe us? Just take a look through a collection of photos from birth to now and you’ll understand what we mean!

An Incredible Beginning

For her son’s third birthday, Khalil flashed all the way back to his birth. “Three years ago today my little star was born at home in a birthing tub with no drugs,” she wrote. “It was the most amazing (and painful!) experience of my life and always will be. It’s been a hard long road but Michael, I love you more and more each day and can’t wait to experience life with you as you grow and learn in this beautiful world.”

Man of Action

“The teacher asked, ‘What do you do with him because he’s ready for action?'” Khalil wrote back when Michael was just two. Well, judging by this pic she gave him a scrubbing brush and put that action to good use! Gotta start that cleanliness kick early!

Going Digital

It’s a technological world and he’s a technological boy. Fortunately, he had a little help from Kevin and Michael’s “little sis!” “Aunt Jessica Heap teaching Michael Man the ropes on the iPad mini,” Khalil wrote of Eden’s then-portrayer.

Beep Beep!

After seeing this pic of “Michael Man getting his second haircut,” we have a very important question. Why don’t we all get to ride a little car when we get our hair cut too??

Dog Day Afternoons

Okay, this may have been a bit messy, but it’s also totally adorable. “This is what @imsoshort’s dog teaches my son,” happy mama shared. Well, it’s a good thing that, as she hash tagged, “#boyslovedirt!” 

The Spitting Image

“I think it’s safe to say we look alike,” mom wrote of this 2014 photo of Michael and a very young Khalil. Look alike? They’re practically twins just a few decades apart!

Ladies’ Little Man

Michael was making friends at a young age. Well, he was making friends and maybe a little bit more. “I think my son knows she has a crush on him,” Khalil wrote of these two. And we could practically hear the tiniest groan in her “voice” as she wrote it! Watch out, ladies!

We Mustache You a Question

Is that facial hair real or… OK, no, it’s not real, but it’s still adorable in this “regram” where mom wrote that “Me and my baby share everything.” Don’t worry, Michael, some day you’ll have a mustache of your own! And the crushing realization that you’ll have to shave it away every day for the rest of your life if you don’t!

Hero Worship

“I think he’s a little excited to meet Superman and Wonder Woman,” Michael’s delighted mom wrote. You know what? We think you’re right. And honestly, we’d react much the same if we ran into this pair in real life!

Wish Upon a Star

Mom and son capped off 2014 by putting the finishing touches on the Christmas tree that they “finally got.” A tree up by December 14? That’s not bad at all! Some folks don’t set theirs up until Christmas Eve!

Jetsetter

Khalil loves to travel, which means Michael’s been lucky enough to tag along for all kinds of trips, like this 2015 journey up to Oregon. “And we’re off again,” mom wrote of this sweetly cute pic from the airport. By five, her little man had already learned one of the most important rules of flying — always have headphones handy!

Sugar Rush

What do you do when you find out the Birthday Song is copyright? (Not anymore, though, it was revoked in 2015.) Make up your own sugary confection of a song to sing! “He can have all the sugar, ’cause it’s his birthday,” Khalil wrote. “I love this little face and can’t believe he’s 5-years-old today!”

Boyfriend Material

Well, it looks like mom’s prediction was right! By the time he was 5, Caden was on the dating scene! OK, we’re sure it wasn’t that serious, but Khalil shared a pic from a birthday party, writing “These silly babes. Happy birthday Ella (2nd from the left)! (AKA Caden’s gf)”

Sliding Into Grade School…

Caden slid right through his first “graduation” and clearly had a blast while he was doing it. “Can’t believe it’s my lovebug’s last day of kindergarten,” a misty-eyed Khalil shared.

… And Onto Prom?

Caden added a little bit of levity as Khalil got ready for the 2016 Daytime Emmys with pals Bryton James (Devon) and Sofia Pernas (ex-Marisa). “We couldn’t take a prom pic without him,” she joked of her son, “so we decided to embrace the silliness!”

Ooky Spooky

Yup, that looks like the right reaction to us when mom and son checked out filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art! “Not gonna lie, we were a little scared,” she admitted in front one of the creepiest creations from del Toro’s film, Pan’s Labyrinth!

Good Vibes

Whew, after that horrifying detour, a trip to Tulum to be “cleansed by a quartz crystal in the chime garden” sounds downright heavenly. And Caden and his mom were both looking beautifully serene.

Overflowing with Love

There were no end of things for Khalil to celebrate the following Thanksgiving. Her heart was so filled with gratitude for everything from Young & Restless to eating “healthy life giving food and sharing this vacation with two people in my life that mean so much to me, Caden and Bryton James.”

Lucky Number Seven

Caden’s 7th birthday may contained less sugar (or not!), but there was certainly just as much love and joy. “You are becoming such an amazing boy,” Khalil wrote, “and I’m proud to call you my son!”

Winter Wonderland

Being a Los Angeles native, Caden didn’t get many opportunities to take in the full wonders of winter. That is, until mom brought him up to Toronto for a wintry December trip that ended up being “my boo’s first snow day.”

A Family Complete

Then-boyfriend (and now fiancé!) Restagno joined mom and son for an absolutely gorgeous Valentine’s Day photo… complete with a random stick and unicorn horn? “The only Valentines I need,” Khalil wrote of her men. “Although I don’t know what Sam was planning on doing with that stick?”

As Close as Ever

In August of 2020, pretty much the entire world was on lockdown, and the pandemic was still as scary as it comes, but all that togetherness clearly didn’t shake Caden and his mom’s joy. Khalil captioned the photo with three hearts and that’s all we needed to know about their loving relationship.

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Can’t get enough mother/son relationships? Check out our now-expanded gallery of daytime stars and their kids