Nine years ago my son Kaden was born.
Nine years ago the World Trade Centre bombers were guys with a truck and some poor planning.
Nine years ago there were no terror alerts.
Nine years ago we hadn't lost a Canadian soldier to combat in over 50 years.
Nine years ago this country didn't have a vocal religious right.
Nine years ago our Prime Minister was a cool guy, with a screwed up mouth who could and would, kick your ass if you got out of line.
Nine years ago our country had some independence of thought (if not media) from the US.
Nine years ago we signed Kyoto and promised the world, we'd lead the way to fix climate change.
Nine years ago Kaden was born. On that cold, dreary, rainy morning I held him up to the window in the hospital, showed him the world and promised him that he could change the world.
Nine years on... as we are led by a sweater-vest-wearing, small-minded, autocratic, power-hungry, micro-managing troll who seems hell-bent on creating the next USA, I wonder. In another nine years Kaden will be 18. Will he and all the other pre-911 babies have the courage to say "No, our fathers promised us we could change the world and make it a better place, so dammit, that's what we're going to do."
Our country is supposed to be the place that other countries look to for guidance, for a demonstration of tolerance and inclusion and for moderation. Today they look across the oceans and see us heading toward division, intolerance and "us vs. them" politics.
Today, somewhere in Canada, a new father is holding his newborn son up to the hospital window, showing him the world and promising him that he can change the world.
I hope in nine years, our sons won't have to.