Eleven years ago today I was suffering through the end stages of thirty-one hours of indescribable pain. Okay, so maybe the whole thirty-one hours wasn't indescribably painful, but it wasn't fun! I could not believe how long it took that boy to come out of me! It must have been a foreshadowing of how long it takes him to get ready for school in the morning.
Eleven years ago I had no idea how my life was going to change. Sure I had taken care of many, many other babies, and I felt very ready to care for one of my own. But I had never been charged with the care of such a tiny defenseless creature who had no one in the world to see to his needs but his father and me. We were it. We were all he had. Wow.
Eleven years ago I had never felt the kind of love that makes your heart jump into your throat at the thought of another person being hurt or in pain, or even uncomforable in any way. I didn't know how it would feel to need to check multiple times every night just to make sure my baby was still breathing. I didn't know how it would feel to want to throttle the other kid on the basketball court who knocked my kid down. I had never been a Mama Bear.
Eleven years ago I had never experienced the pain that discipline can bring a parent. I didn't know how much it would hurt to teach him right from wrong. I didn't know that his tears would be magically connected to my own.
Eleven years ago I knew nothing of the wonder and amazement of basketball, Lego, video games, or Spiderman. I had no idea how many Hot Wheels cars would fill every corner of my house. I didn't know that sharing a chapter of Harry Potter would become my favourite hour of the day.
Eleven years ago today I had never met the most amazing, kind, gentle and loving boy I've ever known. But eleven years ago tonight he became my whole world.
Happy birthday, Connor Michael Haines! Thanks for making the last eleven years the very best years of my life.