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Henry The First: A Year In The Life

By Serge Bielanko |

Hank The Tank

Looking back at someone’s first year of life is sort of a tricky business.

If the person isn’t your kid, well, let’s face it: you might die of boredom, there is no one on Earth who loves to write or read about a kid more than the ones who helped create them.

Then, coming in a very distant second, are the rest of the people in the world who basically could care less about your baby pictures and your verbal coo’s.

Still, it has to be done, huh? It’s almost like some kind of grown-up right of passage, to gloat about your little one’s first this and that.

So, here’s me. Here’s mine.

Here’s my sweeping mega-chronicle of my son Henry’s very first year. His first year of the down and dirty, his first days and weeks of oxygen and bear hugs and eating the dark dirt right from the flower pot of life down here on Earth.

Henry turned one year old this past week and so, like any other dad worth his weight in swampy diapers, I’m so proud of how far my little buddy has come that I am gonna throw caution to the wind here and force-feed you yet another first chapter of a little boy’s life.

Except, that it’s my son.


The greatest Super Hero mankind has ever known.

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A Father's Photo Essay Of His Son's First Year

The On-Time Kid

Henry, you arrived pretty much on schedule on the 23rd of February, 2011. Your mommy did a super-awesome job at helping you get here. She was brave and strong while I was over-caffeinated and pacing around the room. Still, when you got here we were both so excited, man. Then you seemed to be having trouble breathing after awhile and so I hit a bunch of buttons and started hollering and I think I called in doctors and nurses and maybe even a SWAT team, but in the end you were okay.

You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.

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About Serge Bielanko


Serge Bielanko

Serge Bielanko writes about fatherhood for Babble Dad and about marriage stuff for Babble Voices at He Said/She Said. His writing has appeared in Esquire and The Huffington Post, as well as on his personal blog, Thunder Pie. He lives with his wife and two kids in central Pennsylvania. Read bio and latest posts → Read Serge's latest posts →

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16 thoughts on “Henry The First: A Year In The Life

  1. Megan says:

    That was one of the sweetest things I have ever read. I am expecting my first baby here in a couple of weeks, and am still in awe of this Miraculous little wonder boy growing inside of me. I hope I can keep that awe alive just as well as you seem to have. Thank you for such a wonderful blog post!

  2. serge says:

    Thank Megan! Good luck with your little guy.

  3. melanie says:

    you break my heart, serge! always!
    and doesn’t monica look f’ing gorgeous in these pics?!

  4. Miss A says:

    You had me at this: “Most times, you’d be perched there in your mom’s lap as the sun began to set below the farms across the road. And your sister would be walking all over the porch singing and talking to plants and butterflies. Those were beautiful evenings, huh, bud. There probably isn’t a nicer way in this whole wide world to end a long day than the way you three were ending them your first summer.”

    This. This is what I’m holding out for. This is what I want from life. Thanks for articulating it better than I ever could.

  5. Marti says:

    Oh, Serge, this was beautiful. What a nice chronicle for Henry to look at in the future. As the mom of two baby boys (now 14 and 18) I realize just how quickly the time whizzes past!

  6. Julie says:

    I’ve never commented on a blog ever but just had to tell you how beautiful this post is. Happy Birthday to that truly adorable boy of yours!

  7. Hanni says:

    Amazing, Serge. Amazing…I absolutely love your writing.

  8. cj says:

    I am the mother of two boys – one 30 and one 14. There is a never ending supply of firsts and I’m still astonished at how much more I love them every day as they become the men they are destined to be. Thanks Serge for your beautiful writing.

  9. janet says:


  10. Emily C. says:

    I barely ever comment but I always read both of your blogs. This was beautiful, aw well as all of the posts betweeen the two of you. Your children are so very blessed to have a REAL Father like you that can write so incredibly well! This had my eyes filling with tears thinking about how my own son is approaching 10 months, almost a year of life. It’s amazing & heartbreaking & bittersweet just how fast the time goes. This really inspired me to make sure I write for him and express myself about all of these firsts that melt my heart and continue to . Oh, man, and what Monica wrote about Vioilets first day of pre-school at the Y… Ripped my heart out! how she explained “Releasing her baby into the real world”… I’m not sure I would be able to do it! Anyhow, Thank you guys for sharing these awesome, sweet stories!

  11. tracie d says:

    you have me crying- you’re an amazing dad!

  12. Sonya McConville says:

    Hi Serge, this is beautifully written, I love how you capture your childrens characters in words, amazing, Your a great writer, great family xx
    ~ Sonya all the way from a small town in the west of Ireland

  13. stacey says:

    i liked this. very much. thanks.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Beautiful — love it!

  15. Barb says:

    This is beautiful. We celebrated our 2nd son’s 1st birthday yesterday. :)

  16. Wendy J says:

    This was beatiful, touching, making me both laugh and tear up at the sheer joy re-living your last year. Bless you and your family.

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