Just about one year ago today, many of you received the following announcement:
Hello, friends & family!
We’re thrilled to announce the happy & healthy arrival of our third daughter, Georgia Elizabeth Hope Gong. Georgia was born on March 1, 2011. A typically tiny Gong girl, she measured in at 5 lbs, 8 oz and 18 inches long. Everyone’s doing well, and we’re all back home now. Fiona & Campbell are embracing their roles as big sisters. As the lone male in our family, Erick is planning on getting a male dog (a companion for long, QUIET walks in the woods) and a shotgun (for the teenage years).
We can’t wait for you all to meet Georgia!
With love & thanks,
A Word About the Name: Georgia’s first name comes from the song “Georgia on my Mind,” made most famous by Ray Charles. For some reason, Faith heard this song frequently throughout her pregnancy, and we thought it would make a pretty girl’s name! Upon looking into the song’s history, we also liked the fact that on March 7, 1979, in a mutual symbol of reconciliation after conflict over civil rights issues, Ray Charles performed it before the Georgia General Assembly. Georgia’s two middle names come from her two wonderful grandmothers, Elizabeth (Betty, Erick’s mother) and Hope (Faith’s mother).
It’s cliched, but it’s hard for us to believe that our third daughter is already one year old.
I find it more difficult to write about Georgia than about either of our other daughters. After all, the original Pickle Patch was started back when we just had Fiona, and it was TOTALLY focused on: Fiona. An entire blog about one little baby! Back then I had no difficulty documenting her every move. Perhaps one reason that this is harder to do for Georgia is that I just don’t have the time to pay attention. The sad fact: the more children you have, the less attention you can give to each of them. And the baby is, quite honestly, at the bottom of the pecking order. Everything they can do you’ve seen twice before, and their needs are more basic than the complex socio-emotional needs of the older siblings.
But I think it’s more than just a matter of my time. I think it’s also that, having seen two older children grow past babyhood, I realize how little we still know Georgia. When our older children were Georgia’s age, we extrapolated many things about their personalities and preferences that later turned out not to be true at all. You think that, as a parent, you know your children better than anybody else — and that may be accurate for a time, but the truth is that it’s very, very hard to really know another person. Even when it’s your own child. (Even when it’s yourself).
But this is about celebrating Georgia, and there is plenty to celebrate! Here’s what we DO know about Georgia at age 1:
-She is VERY loved, by every member of our family. Everybody wants to hold her, hug her, tickle her, and “help” her all the time.
-She is a trooper about being dragged around from place to place. This all started back when the poor kid was one month old and we lugged her cross-country to Vermont to find a place to live. Two months later, we moved her cross-country for good, and then proceeded to shuttle her around to all her sisters’ activities. No complaints from Georgia about any of this.
-She is NOT a trooper when it comes to physical discomfort. Unlike both of her sisters, who do a pretty good job bouncing back from falls, headbangs, and scrapes, Georgia will scream at the smallest bonk. And don’t even try to touch her neck, ever. A wee bit dramatic, this one.
-Also unlike both her sisters, she has four whole teeth at the age of one (they both got teeth much later), comforts herself by sucking on two fingers (neither sister did), and is crawling (neither sister crawled before walking).
-She loves: using chopsticks to simulate playing the drums, dancing, reading books that have little flaps to open, and pulling things out of anything.
-She has the best laugh in our entire family, hands down.
So, Happy First Birthday, Dear Georgia! We love you very much, and look forward to figuring out more about who you are as you continue to grow.