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The First Birthday She'll Never Remember

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

Year one, done! It’s possibly the most important birthday in a child’s life.…for the parents. It’s the one you definitely won’t want to forget, but the one your baby will probably never remember. So, how do you celebrate?

Over the past 15 years, I’ve performed at hundreds of birthday parties, but never as a parent myself. Even without the firsthand experience, I could understand the accomplishment parents felt after a whole year of keeping their mini humans alive. I even wrote a song for them to celebrate the special moment!

Listen to “You Are Getting Older” on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon.

Now that I’m a mom I can dedicate the song to my own daughter, Emmeline (“lean”), who turned 1 on October 21, 2021. It has certainly been a whirlwind year of milestones and “oohs” and “awes” and enough photos to force an upgrade to my iPhoto storage capacity. We definitely have a lot to celebrate!

I’ve heard people say, “your baby isn’t going to remember their first birthday.” Totally agree. Planning a big to-do was not on my to-do list. Plus, with Covid, and my family all spread out…having one party just didn’t make sense.

Of course we still wanted to celebrate our baby girl. And of course we wanted to create some memories. Judging by my October camera roll, I think we did just that.

October 18, 2021

My sister, Amy, and I headed to Holland, Michigan to visit Opa (my dad), stepmom, Sandy, and my stepbrother’s family. His daughters surprised us with a cute “Happy Birthday” sign decorated with flowers and rainbows. There were pink and purple balloons kicking around the room. We sang “Happy Birthday” and gave Emmeline a slice of coconut cake to smash. She loved it!

Our mission in Michigan was to give love and hugs to my dad for what would be the last time. I’m so grateful that he got to be with Emmeline during her first year of life and to see how much joy she brought for him, especially in his final days.

Cake? Yes. Family? Yes. Memories? To forever cherish.

October 21, 2021

On Emmeline’s actual birthday, Aunt Laura and Nonnie Gail joined us at Grandma Bonnie’s house in Wheeling, IL for a smash cake from the famous Dinkel’s Bakery in Chicago — chocolate cake with butter cream frosting. Mmmm! She proceeded with caution at first, but in the end, Emmeline destroyed that cake! She smiled and giggled the entire time she bit it, patted it, and stuffed it in her face! Oh my goodness, we had cake on the walls! I took her straight to the bath to wash cake out of her ears.

The next day we had her one-year check-up with the pediatrician. Dr. Patel said now that Emmeline has four teeth, it’s time to start brushing!

More Cake! More Family! And Memories? I can’t wait to show the Facebook Live video of her smash cake at Emme’s 21st Golden Birthday!

October 23, 2021

Off to Cincinnati, Ohio for a camping family reunion with Grandma Bonnie’s side. Emmeline was welcomed with balloons around the campfire (It didn’t seem safe to me either…) and a furry pink “Happy Birthday” tiara. We passed around cupcakes and I taught everyone the genius, less-messy way to eat them. She played with pumpkins and cousins, went on a hay ride and stayed up way past her bedtime.

My mom’s twin, Grandma Connie and her grandkids did their own version of The Wonky Donkey story (as made famous by this Scottish Granny). Then I got up to sing “The Unicorn Song,” teaching the hand gestures and getting everyone around the fire to join in. Now Cousin Kim finally knows what happened to the Unicorns… (Learn the dance moves to “The Unicorn Song”)

Cupcakes! Family! And like a helium balloon escaping from the car and floating to the sky, we have yet more memories to store in the cloud.

Next, we’ll head to México to celebrate with Emmeline’s daddy and his family in Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo. There will be even more cake (tres leches), más familia and muchas más memorias.

So maybe Emmeline won’t remember her first birthday, but our pictures will be the beginning of the amazing story of her life. Her memories will be in photos brought to life by the stories we will tell.

And as for this musician mom, my most precious memory of Emmeline’s first birthday will be stored in my mind. As I rocked her to sleep in the darkness, I quietly sang the song that was written for her 10 years before we met.

“You Are Getting Older” by Super Stolie

I’m gonna bake you a cake cuz it’s your birthday

I’m gonna sing you a song cuz it’s all about you

You are getting older, but you’re still my baby

You are getting bigger, but nothing can change

How special you are

So, I’m gonna bake you a cake cuz it’s your birthday

And I’ll put candles on top so you can blow them out

We’ll sing a special birthday song just for you

Cuz you are getting older, but nothing can change

How special you are

Let’s gather up our family cuz we all love you

And your best friends too cuz they’ll want to share

And everyone will celebrate how much you’ve grown

Cuz you are getting older, but nothing can change

How special you are

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to someone so special

Happy birthday to you

You are so special so this is especially for you

"You Are Getting Older” is the final track on Super Stolie’s album, Press Play! Listen on Bandcamp, YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music or Amazon.

“The Unicorn” (written by Shel Silverstein) is available on Super Stolie’s album, When I Grow Up. Hear it on Bandcamp, YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music or Amazon.

Purchase the book, The Wonky Donkey on Amazon.

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