Eleven years ago today I was first introduced one of the most important men in my life. It was an awkward and painful first meeting. I wasn’t looking my finest and was in desperate need of a cocktail and a nap. He was furious at being forced to join the party and not afraid to let everyone in the room know with an extended vocal tirade.
Despite the imperfect conditions and emotional strain, it was love at first sight. If I remember correctly, it was his hair that first caught my eye. It was dark and thick for a man of his age. I think that first day he was most attracted to my cleavage, but he would quickly grow to love my ability to soothe him like no other.
Eleven years ago today my first son, Bennett was born and my mind was totally blown. I had read the books and listened to all of the women I knew who had children talk about their mothering experiences, but I might as well have done nothing. I was in no way prepared for the joy, hilarity and pain that would originate from that tiny being even in his very first day on Earth.
Who knew a baby could be born with the cord wrapped around his neck twice and it’s no big deal (under trained medical guidance)?
Who knew skin that shade of lavender and a head of such acute cone-iness could merit an Apgar score of 9 and be considered perfect?
Who knew the first poop a baby takes (that blackish green sticky stuff called meconium) could come shooting out the very first time you take off his diaper and then just keep coming and coming like the baby was a tube of toothpaste filled with poop and he would just keep extruding until he was flat? And that in an attempt to catch the flow, I would begin rotating itty bitty newborn diapers in and out from under him in what eventually resulted in an ‘I Love Lucy on an assembly line of candy’ type disaster except less chocolate and more tarrish-poop filled?
Who knew the poop-incident (my inaugural experience with babies, diapers and poop) would be the first in a so-far unending stream of things involving my kids that have made me laugh until I cried (quite literally, that time; have you ever been unable to contain your laughter with fresh stitches in any part of your body? Ow.)?
Who knew I could wake up at 4am one morning, make not even the slightest attempt to sleep until 10pm the following evening and then be up every hour for at least 50% of the hour until the next morning and not literally die of exhaustion? And who knew rather that wanting to kill the instrument of this particular torture, I would want nothing but his happiness and want-of-nothing for the rest of his life?
Not me. I did not know any of this until my introduction to my Bennett. I feel so lucky for everything he has taught me not only that first chaotic day, but for every day of the last 11 years. Happy Birthday, My Monkeyhead. Stop getting older for awhile, OK? It’s going too fast.