MARYSVILLE — A decade ago today, Snohomish County was waking up to the first day of the year 2000.
Joel and Angelina Garcia of Marysville had something far more precious to celebrate.
Their son, Daniel Garcia, was born Jan. 1, 2000, just 38 minutes past midnight at Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington, the first baby born in a Snohomish County hospital that year.
Being the first baby born in 2000 is a special distinction, one that some parents across the country tried to engineer by attempting to conceive children on April 9, 1999. That was the date many believed provided the greatest odds.
Daniel’s parents didn’t set out for any special birthday. In fact, Daniel arrived about a week before he was expected.
Today, Angelina Garcia remembers watching the countdown to the new year on television through her contractions and then a few fireworks bursting from the Space Needle just minutes before Daniel, her second son, was born.
“He is going to be a good boy,” Joel Garcia told
The Herald in a story that appeared Jan. 2, 2000. “I know that. I know that for sure.”
Now Daniel is 10 and it appears his father was right about Snohomish County’s Y2K baby.
Daniel, a somewhat shy fourth-grader at Allen Creek Elementary, is a good student. He loves wrestling action figures, computer games, math and art. Last year, he and his 8-year-old sister Anahi took up Tae Kwan Do, something their mother hopes will hone confidence and self-control.
Daniel sometimes helps his father in his welding shop behind their home. He has a dog named Manchas — Spanish for “spots” — and shares a tidy bedroom with his younger sister. Her half is full of plush puppies; his is covered with wrestling posters. His older brother, 16-year-old Josue, describes Daniel as funny and easy to get along with.
Daniel hasn’t spent much time thinking about the significance of his birthday — which is probably to be expected from a 10-year-old.
His family has — even at the beginning. Angelina Garcia remembers the unexpected first pains of labor at a New Year’s Eve family party and the joking later at the hospital from her family.
“He’s going to be a millennium baby,” she remembers her sister-in-law telling her. “You have to push very hard to make him get born at midnight.”
In years past, his family has thrown him pinata parties on his birthday or taken him shopping for a special gift. They plan to do that later today.
Joel and Angelina Garcia, who have provided a cozy and colorful home on a quiet Marysville street for their three children, stress the importance of education. Joel Garcia said he wants Daniel to have a better life, an easier life than he and his wife. The couple immigrated from Mexico to the Northwest in 1991. He works as a welder and she works as a waitress.
It seems like Snohomish County’s Y2K’s baby is well on his way.
“He was a very good baby,” Joel Garcia said, smiling at his son. “He’s still a good boy.”
Debra Smith: 425-339-3197, firstname.lastname@example.org.