Saturday, January 9, 2010

Eleven Years Ago

Eleven years ago I was awake in bed wondering if you would ever come.

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.

25 comments:

diane said...

It is amazing how much our children teach and change us.

Happy Birthday to your tween.

brooke said...

This brought me to tears. You are right--we are so different and better because of our kids--but our cars will never be the same.

Rochelleht said...

Beautiful!!!

I love me some Phenias and Ferb.

Christie said...

Loved this beautiful tribute to your adorable boy. We sure love that kid around here. Happy birthday to both of your big boys!

marta said...

i needed a good cry this morning. so sweet, gab. jake has a key to our hearts. happy birthday to your boys.

cami said...

That was adorable, Gabi. You have me in tears. Life really does start all over when we become mothers, doesn't it? Happy Birthday to Jake & Brad!

Cathy said...

so beautiful! Children do so very much to enrich & change our lives for the better!

Tristan said...

eFantastic post!! I teared up a little!

Happy Birthday to your Jake!

calibosmom said...

Thanks Gab-I'm crying again. That was really sweet and he is truly blessed to have you for his mama. Happy Birthday to your boy.

the wrath of khandrea said...

you never cease to amaze me with your ability to say things.

i run and hide when i hear "MOM, PHINEAS AND FERB ARE MAKING A TITLE SEQUENCE!" but i still love my kids unconditionally.

martha corinna said...

This is beautiful.

You paint a vivid story with your thoughts. The "baby furniture I had coveted for years" was poignant.

beckyV said...

Beautiful, Happy Birthday Jake! My baby's birthday was yesterday, too :)

Heidiram said...

Happy Birthday Jake! As always, your post brought me to tears.

kara jayne said...

you have a gift. and not just jake. your gift for words and expression is something i will forever be trying to develop. thank you so much for expressing yourself so beautifully and for bringing up thoughts and feelings that are so precious as a mother

Ilene said...

Seriously, what is it about the master bathtub serving as an alteranative toy box?

Seesh.

Happy Birthday to both of you!

Robin said...

Oh! happy Birthday! What a delightful boy!

Travelin'Oma said...

During all those years when you were the wannabe mom, you were developing qualities that have made you the best mom in the world for Jake, and the others who followed along. Jake was the most prayed for baby in our family!

Lauren in GA said...

Oh, Gabi, so, so, beautifully said. I loved every word and, of course, it made me teary.

I am laughing about Phineas and Ferb...please don't tell anyone but I actually like that little cartoon. (especially don't tell Andrea...her comment made me howl with laughter though)

Happy Birthday to your BIG, BIG, BOY!!

Marci said...

Why am I crying? You always seem to do that to me with your brilliant writing. You always have the perfect way of expressing feelings that I can relate to - especially all of those mom type of feelings.

Happy birthday, Jake!!

Hollyween said...

I bet you can remember every tiny thing about the day he finally came into your life.

This entry was precious. He's so lucky to have a mom who can put thoughts into words so beautifully.

Jenibelle said...

Oh Gabi, beautiful.
You and Jake are both very lucky to have each other. A match made in heaven.

Hazen5 said...

Happy birthday Kiddo! What a great post for a great kid.

Linsey said...

Dry clean only clothes...ha! Those were the days. I still dream in Ann Taylor, but I live in Eddie Bauer.

Jake couldn't have come to a better Mom. Happy Birthday!

Melissa said...

Very well put. My oldest will be 11 in a month. Gasp! we were also in Hawaii and I was reading What to Expect, but I was the obvious owner/beached whale... :)

Jeanelle said...

This was such a beautiful tribute - thanks so much. And if I ever get out there for a visit, will you make me a peanut butter smoothie?

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