StarGirl’s First Birthday

StarGirl’s a year old today.


It seems like only a handful of months have passed since the night that Sue and I went to Hunterdon Medical Center, excited, edgy and still not knowing whether we were going to be parents to a baby boy or girl. Still blissfully unaware that our unborn baby was going to take her own sweet time getting her, and that 12 hours of labor and 4 hours of pushing still lie before Sue. Hell … in some ways, it seems like absolutely no time has gone by, as though we’ve still got a tiny infant sleeping downstairs in the nursery.

But of course, time has passed — 12 months worth of it actually, and a lot has happened in those twelve months. StarGirl’s had her first helicopter ride, after her heart went into overdrive and she was taken to Pediatric ICU at Lehigh Valley Hospital. She’s been to two weddings and two funerals. She’s mastered climbing up stairs (but not down), taken her first steps, and managed to utter a handful of words. She’s cut eight teeth, and developed what I hope will be a life-long affection for real-time strategy computer games. She’s discovered that books are for more than chewing, and now happily sits in the middle of the library paging through her collection (though naturally, she’s not actually reading them yet).

She’s learned how to growl like a bear, bark like a dog, meow like a kitten, and hoot like an owl, which is about what you’d expect from a baby with a naturalist for a mother. She’s eaten her first solid foods, and discovered how much fun it is to squeeze mashed potatoes between her fingers. She’s sat in on numerous sessions of Dungeons & Dragons and HeroClix with her dad, and she’s gone on a bunch of nature walks with her mom. She’s figured out how to give hugs, work the TV remote, and type on her mom’s computer, and happily says “Hi!” to everyone she sees in a restaurant. She’s also discovered the joys of bath time, learned out to scold the dogs, seen her first Christmas tree cut down, and stuffed herself on Thanksgiving turkey.

Thinking about all she’s done and how much she’s grown, time does seem to stretch out a bit … but only a bit. Hundreds of people have told us to savor every moment while StarGirl’s a baby, and while that can be hard to do when she’s screaming her head off at 2 a.m., it’s still good advice.