Maui’s first baby of year is a boy

Franklin Wilde Wilson’s 12:23 a.m. arrival the earliest reported statewide

New parents Johnny and Amanda Wilson pose with son Franklin Wilde Wilson on Monday afternoon at Maui Memorial Medical Center. “Frankie,” who was born at 12:23 a.m. Monday, was the first baby born at MMMC in 2018, and just might be the first in the state this year. He is the couple’s first child. The Maui News / COLLEEN UECHI photo

WAILUKU — Twenty-three minutes into the new year, Franklin Wilde Wilson became the first baby born at Maui Memorial Medical Center in 2018 — and he might just be the first in the state.

Wilson was born at 12:23 a.m. Monday to Amanda and Johnny Wilson, residents of Maui Meadows and the owners of Wai Bar on Main Street in Wailuku. He is the couple’s first child.

“He’s a winner,” said Amanda Wilson as she held her son Monday afternoon. “I love 2018 already.”

Franklin, already known as “Frankie” to his parents, weighed in at 8 pounds, 13 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. Johnny Wilson said that his son’s first name is a nod to the Founding Father on the hundred-dollar bill.

“Benjamin Franklin was one of the smartest cats — so many inventions,” Johnny Wilson said.

As for his son’s middle name, “we just wanted it to be something a little on edge and cool but not too over-the-top,” he said. “We want him to grow up and be a really good drummer at Wai Bar.”

The Maui News reached out to nearly a dozen hospitals that offer labor and delivery in Hawaii. Hilo Medical Center reported the second-closest birth — a boy born at 12:51 a.m. Monday. No other hospital reported an earlier birth.

On New Year’s Eve, the Wilsons plans to go to an event featuring DJ ill.Gates at the old Saver’s location on Dairy Road. That changed when Amanda Wilson started getting contractions at around 5 a.m. Sunday. They arrived at the hospital at around noon.

As midnight drew closer, the nurses excitedly told the Wilsons that Frankie could be the first baby of the new year.

“We didn’t understand that it was such a big deal,” Amanda Wilson said. “All these nurses said they were rooting for us. . . . She (our nurse) came in, and she’s like, ‘I think this is the one!'”

The Wilsons like to say they’ve had two babies in the last year — Frankie and the Wai Bar, which the couple opened Sept. 1 to help pay the bills while Amanda Wilson takes some time off from teaching science at Kihei Charter School.

“I really wanted to build a place that you could actually do live performances,” Johnny Wilson said. “We love that little town so much.”

Johnny Wilson writes, records and mixes music for movies and has worked on locally produced films such as “Kuleana” and “Go for Broke.” He has a recording studio above the bar. The couple plans to continue running the business even after Amanda Wilson goes back to school.

Johnny Wilson, 50, is originally from Oakland, Calif., and has lived on Maui for three years. Amanda Wilson, 35, is originally from Fort Worth, Texas, and has lived on Maui for 11 years.

Her mother, Deborah Sanford Wilson, was also at the hospital Monday. She flew in from Texas on Wednesday to witness her grandson’s birth.

“I just wanted it healthy and Amanda not to be in pain,” she said. “And we’re blessed on all accounts.”

* Colleen Uechi can be reached at