Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I have many times tucked my boys into bed. On the eves of their birthdays is always a special night. The routine is always the same. I kiss and hug them and bid farewell. In the case of Cooper this year I said, "Good bye 3 year old Cooper." Then when they wake up the next morning they are another year older. It's just that simple. We put our babies to bed and they wake up a little bigger every morning.
Tonight, however, I slipped into Cooper's room after he had fallen asleep. He has had a huge day as a 4 year old. Next to him in bed I found a storm trooper (thanks Isernhagens), an I SPY book (thanks go-go), a lego guy and motorcycle (thanks Kirks), and a new Leapster. I found it amusing that he tried to squeeze every last minute of play into today -- his first day of 4.
I do not remember turning 4, I doubt he will. But I so wish he could. Today he scampered into our bedroom and woke us up with an excited, "It's my birthday." Then he crawled atop the covers and asked to watch cartoons. While we readied the kitchen for our traditional family birthday breakfast he waited patiently in our bed, not wanting to spoil his own surprise (how conscientious).
The next few hours were a whirlwind of wrapping paper, German pancakes, and toys -- all the while Mason humming a running soundtrack of the music of Star Wars. Then it was off to swimming school where Cooper jumped off the dock toward the teacher for the first time. By this I mean she asked him to swim toward her -- rather than holding him up while he tries to swim. He promptly sank to the bottom like a rock but he gave it a great 4 year old effort with the type of bravery that wasn't there yesterday.
With only an hour to spare between swim school and party time we all dressed up as pirates to fulfill Cooper's wish to have a pirate party. The house was bedecked in skull and crossbones and the first guest to arrive was Captain Hook (his grandma go-go). As the children arrived we asked them to wear some pirate props. Admittedly the party was pretty low key and ended with a grand finale of Cooper and two of his friends jumping on packing bubbles.
The evening was spent opening -- of all things -- some Christmas presents. I know he enjoyed this first day of 4. During the party when asked if he was having a good time he said, "Let's just start over." It was that good. He was ready to just hit rewind and begin, again. And it was on this high that Cooper was asked to go to bed and wait for day two of his fourth year to begin. He's wonderful, confident, and growing bigger and brighter with each new day.