Not so long ago, I was talking with a long-time Airdronian who suggested an appropriate logo for Airdrie might incorporate the image of a young woman pushing a baby stroller. I laughed, but I’m not sure they were kidding.
Because it’s true, especially on nice days, that you can see many moms out walking or at the playground with their kids.
Meanwhile, a quick Google search of ‘Covid Baby Boom’ does absolutely nothing to answer the question: Did Canada have a Covid baby boom? A survey of the existing research shows nearly equal amounts of researchers and so-called experts on either side of the fence – some say ‘yes’ and some saying ‘no, birth rates actually declined during the first year of Covid’.
In reality, both views are accurate but are time sensitive. For example, it makes perfect sense that birth rates declined at the start of Covid given the economic uncertainty during that initial period. As things progressed with the virus and vaccinations and other adaptations such as working remotely, etc. and people got used to the ‘new normal’, birth rates started to bounce back again in what some are calling a Covid rebound boom.
Whatever you choose to believe, my own reality is that both of my adult children and my sister’s son and his wife all had babies within a six-month span during Covid. In 2021, that was the reality for nearly 1,000 Airdronians, with Service Alberta recording 935 births to Airdrie parents in 2021, the sixth highest number in the province.
Among those lucky Airdrie couples were first-time parents Melia Campos and Dennis Aseh, who met over social media during the early days of the pandemic and welcomed daughter Zara on October 11, 2021. In fact, they were luckier than most, taking home a $50,000 prize package as winners of the Parent Life Network’s annual “Canada’s Luckiest Baby” contest last March.
Airdrie’s baby boom has continued into 2022, and once again Genesis Land and airdrielife magazine are teaming up to promote and produce the Airdrie Baby Book, celebrating babies born to Airdrie parents prior to December 31.
Born of the pandemic itself, with 2021 being the first edition, the 2022 book features the story of Jimmy and the Treehouse, a children’s tale about achieving your dreams with the help of your friends. It will be written by Calgary author Leonor Henriquez and illustrated by Airdrie artist Mackenzie Cox. The duo paired up for the first time, last year, creating Baby Bunny Boing and the Welcome Party.
“These babies are our newest citizens, and we want to commemorate their birth by giving them a lifetime treasure,” says Brendan McCashin, Vice President Land Development for Genesis. “Many of these babies will grow-up and spend their lives here in Airdrie, living in a Genesis community. This is what community building is all about.”
The book is an adventure story where kindness and friendship are the heroes, says Henriquez.“It’s a story that celebrates nature, as trees are a symbol of growth and abundance,” she said.
“I’m grateful and honoured to be trusted by airdrielife and Genesis Land to be part of this beautiful project that celebrates life itself,” said Henriquez. “I hope my words bring smiles to your readers and warmth to their homes.”
A special hard cover version featuring baby photos will be produced for babies’ families with copies of the children’s storybook version available at Genesis show homes while quantities last. A digital flipbook version can be found online at both the Genesis Land and airdrielife websites.
All families who register for the 2022 Airdrie Baby Book are automatically entered to win a baby photogprahy package valued at $500. Deadline to submit entries is January 10, 2023 with registration at airdrielife.com/baby-book-2022.