Afraid of jinxing the adoption, I had not purchased a single diaper or pack of undershirts or any of the baby furniture I'd been coveting for years.
All I had was an empty bedroom next to mine and the What to Expect book which I had secretly read with religious devotion while on vacation with your dad in Hawaii. No one knew you were coming, so I couldn't read it by the pool or on the beach. Our traveling companions probably wondered why I kept sneaking into the hotel room and, if they had looked closely at my face, they would have seen it hovering between hysterical laughing and hysterical crying. I could never decide which.
On the long flight home, I took advantage of Dad's laptop and typed up my twenty page Mothering Manifesto. All my hopes and dreams. The kind of mom I would be. The kind of person I would train you to become. Unfortunately, this brilliant piece of philosophy was forever lost in some tangled mess of binary code and, though I hunted for ages, I was never able to find it again. Too bad. I think it would make me chuckle these days.
Eleven years ago I lived in a brand new house that was spotless with white carpet in every room. All of my Magic Markers had lids. I kept coffee table books on my coffee table. And I bought dry clean only clothing.
My life was different eleven year ago. I didn't know how to unfold a stroller or sterilize a bottle or love unselfishly. Believe it or not, I'd never watched a single episode of Phineas and Ferb or made a peanut butter smoothie. I had never been to the orthodontist and there were no action figures in my bathtub.
Eleven years ago I didn't need to color my hair and the backseat of my car was completely crumb-free. But I'd never had a Mother's Day card or heard you read Bears on Wheels all by yourself either.
Eleven years ago a new life began. And I don't mean yours.
Happy Birthday, Jakey! Can't imagine my life without you.