Tesla’s First Birthday

One year ago tonight, little miss Tesla Fae entered the world, and my life will never be the same.


There are dozens of events that can "change your life forever." The party you went to where you met the friends you spend the next few decades relying on. The job you took that defines the direction of the rest of your career. Meeting the amazing woman you're lucky enough to eventually marry. But all of these are events that mainly impact you and how you travel your own path.

Having a child is different. Suddenly, I'm not just responsible for myself. There's this whole new person in the world who wouldn't be here without me. And it's my job to help her make sense of all this craziness, and find her own path through the woods. It's exciting, and inspiring, and terrifying.

I feel like we lucked out with Tesla. She has been a source of pure joy, since the moment she was born. She's always happy, always inquisitive, and always an inspiration. Her bouts of anger only last a moment, and then she bounces back to the bright-eyed explorer we've come to know. As her mom said today, we're learning as much from Tesla as she's learning from us. She's already an amazing person, and I can't wait to see who she becomes.


With great children comes great responsibility. I know the most important responsibility I have in the coming years will be giving Tesla the support and guidance she'll need to become who and what she wants to be. I know I'll make mistakes, and I still have a lot of learning and becoming of my own to do. But I'd like to make a few promises to her (and any siblings she may later have), that I will always strive to uphold.

  • I promise to give you a stable, supportive childhood, so you'll always feel safe to explore the world around you, as well as the world within you. I will do everything I can to shield you from the kinds of insecurities that slowed me down, including working my hardest to shed the ones I still cling to, so you have as positive a role model as possible. And I will do everything I can to help you find and follow your own passions.

  • I promise to surround you with positive examples of relationships (both romantic and friendly), so that you will always recognize the right kinds of relationships to pursue on your own, and be able to avoid the other kind. I will love your mom the way I want your future spouse to love you, and I will teach you to be the kind of friend you'll want to find in others.

  • I promise to teach you all I know of the world. I'll teach you about people, so you can seek out the good ones and deal effectively with the rest. I'll teach you how to work hard and how to manage your money, so you'll never be dependent upon someone else to guide your fate. I'll teach you about beauty, and how to find it in the simplest things and in the unlikeliest places. And I'll teach you how to find other teachers along your road, who can show you wonders I haven't even dreamed of.

  • Most importantly, I will love you. Always and unconditionally. This doesn't mean we won't get annoyed with one another from time to time, or argue over bedtimes, curfew, or politics. But even at the worst of moments, I will love you more than I love life itself. And when I lose my final grasp on life itself, I will be happy knowing that a bit of me (hopefully the best bit) will live on in you.


Happy first birthday, Tesla! Thank you for everything you've taught me, so far. I can't wait to see you grow into the intelligent, loving, bad-ass, wonderful woman I know you are. I love you more than you will ever know!


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One Comment:

  1. There are also so many people I should thank for helping to make Tesla’s first year spectacular.

    Gerry and Norm (Rae’s folks) have been absolutely amazing, watching Tes for us every day while we’re at work, giving her more attention and education than we would every be able to afford through day care.

    For someone who didn’t seem quite sure about kids before meeting Little Miss, Savanah has been amazing as Tesla’s personal press secretary, setting up the iCloud feed that we all use to keep track of her photos, and taking / uploading the lion’s share of the photos as well. Tesla misses you already, and is going to flip when she sees you at Thanksgiving!

    Tesla’s army of aunties (including cousins and friends who are nonetheless aunties) and faerie god-friends have filled her life with so much love and support that I know she’ll always have a network of trusted adults to go to, even when mom and dad “just don’t understand.” We love you all now, but we’re REALLY going to love you in her teenage years!

    The Famdamily, our own chosen family of friends, have been amazingly supportive to me, Rae and Tesla, and we love you all for it. You guys are the reason we moved back up to the bay area to raise Tes. You are the village we’ve chosen to help raise our child, and we’ve never made a better decision!

    Having only had a chance to know one of my own grandparents, and none of my great grandparents, I am incredibly grateful that Tesla has the chance to know not only her grandparents on both sides, but also Nana and Pops. You guys are living legends within your family, and I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know you (especially since I’d likely never believe half the stories about you two if I hadn’t actually met you!).

    Her other family may live to far away to get to see her as often as they like, but I assure you you’ll have plenty of chances to corrupt her in the coming years and decades. :)

    I’m still very sad that my mom never got to meet Tesla in person, beyond one Facetime chat. But she will be getting gifts from grandma Shirl (in the form of clothes and toys) for years to come, and will be hearing stories about her all her life. And mom, I gotta give it to you. We laughed at that silly giant giraffe chair when you gave it to her at the baby shower, but wow does she love cuddling with that thing! You always did know your baby toys. :-)

    And I’m sure there are dozens more who deserve our thanks and gratitude. But daddy needs to sleep. Love you all!

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