Tuesday, August 18, 2015

cooper turns 8.

this boy stole my heart the second the doctor first laid him in my arms & he's had it wrapped around his finger ever since. i've spent the past 8 years just trying to be worthy of him. he is truly some kind of special. he's my best friend. he is smart & inquisitive with an unquenchable thirst for more knowledge. his questions are never-ending & ever-evolving. he challenges my intellect on the daily. for a long time i struggled to come up age appropriate explanations for the advanced concepts he yearned to understand. i would get frustrated & he would get frustrated. then smarty little coop came up with a solution. he requested that i give him the complete unmodified answer to even the most difficult of his questions. i obliged. sometimes the answers are so far over his little head & even though he doesn't understand he appreciates my honesty. sometimes he comprehends bits & pieces & comes up with his own limited conclusions,.& many times, he just gets it. he is so much smarter than i understood. 

he is growing up much too quick. when we got to the top of campus on the first day of his second grade he turned to me & said, "i can take it from here, mommy." my jaw just about dropped. i couldn't believe how mature he sounded. & although i wanted to hold his hand all the way to his new seat i knew that what he said was true. he is so capable, so smart, so mature, & so aware. he really "could take it from there." his new aspiration is to walk the 200 yards from school to our home alone. baby steps, coop. we'll get there soon enough. he's taken on new roles around the house that correspond with his continually growing need for independence & responsibility. he takes out the trash, fetches the mail, feeds godzilla, folds his own laundry, packs his own lunch, & cares for our plants. despite his maturity, he still hangs on to a few of his baby phrases like calling sneezes "bless yous" & instead of saying what time is it he says "what o'clock is it?" i love it all. & i will hold on to my little guy for as long as he will allow.

his creativity is starting to shine. he loves playing the uke & i love listening to him strum & hum. he's even started writing his own songs. & they are too cute for words. my favorite is titled, "your beautiful face." he is an amazing story teller. he has a beautiful imagination. he is very sensible & his stories are often very practical & almost always end with a moral. i love reading over his schoolwork. especially on fridays when he brings home his writing notebook with a special note for me. it helps ease the emptiness of being without him all day. i almost feel like i'm almost a part of this big chunk of his life. he has a tendency of using a vocabulary rather similar to mine. adjectives like incredible, outstanding, & fantastic often pop up in his writing. it's probably because i often use these words to describe him.

he's a goal setter. he loves to dream & works hard to accomplish anything & everything he puts his little mind to. on the short term, he wants to run 3 miles at one time, read the book of mormon & the bible from cover to cover, & save another $100. his long term goals include, going to college, getting degrees in biology & gemology, becoming a scientist, owning a museum, writing a book, being a really good husband & dad, & winning the super bowl. i don't doubt he will fulfill every one of his dreams.

coop loves a full agenda. in fact, i have to remind him to chill & ensure that he has time for unstructured & imaginative play. between club soccer, cross country, & ukulele he is pretty busy. and that's after i had to cut out rugby & swimming for the fall because it was just too much. he is eagerly awaiting the next flag football season. and practices running plays with his dad & brothers almost nightly. he can call & run plays like a mini tom brady. his favorite position is wide receiver. just like his daddy. but i think he has a natural knack for quarterback. i swore my boys' wouldn't play football until high school, but you try telling him no.

he is truly a wonderful big brother. don't get me wrong, he teases & torments his brothers like any good big brother does, but he loves them. he worries about them when they are struggling with something, he cares for them when they are hurt, he helps them all throughout the day, & he is constantly teaching them. he is often the first person to offer aid when they are hurt & they fight over who can have a sleep over in his bed. they are so blessed to have a coop in their lives.

his lengthy prayers are so heartfelt. this kid has some serious faith. he expresses sincere gratitude for all the great things that happened in his day. & his requests are always valid needs, not only for himself but also for his family. twice in the past two weeks he had specific prayers answered. i just have to record this one: he saved up & ordered a brett farve trading card online. & three days later he eagerly ran to the mailbox with high hopes. i warned him that it was too soon. come on, an envelope just can't travel from indiana to hawaii in three days. this faithful little guy immediately bowed his head & said a sweet little prayer. the entire time i was panicking. how would he handle the disappointment when he opened the mailbox to find it empty?  how would i explain that some prayers just don't get answered when & how we expect? would this shake his faith? but there was no need for any of that. his prayer was answered & his faith confirmed when his trading card was waiting for him.

per his request we had an early breakfast of ham & bacon omelettes, & chocolate peanut butter smoothies. he opened all his presents before heading off to school. last night, he helped me bake & wrap his favorite treat (one that we have adapted over the years to contain as much sugar as posssible) super cookie brownie sandwiches (homemade chocolate chip & m&m cookie bars covered with a layer of oreos & smothered with homemade brownies & topped with sprinkles) to share with his class. he also helped me bake homemade funfetti cupcakes to share with his soccer team. mylo & i will be taking him taco bell & vitamin water for a lunch date at the school caf. then he wants to play with his new toys & watch super bowl highlights before soccer practice. then it's fun factory & ruby's diner for cheeseburgers & milkshakes. not a bad day, little man. he opted to trade in his birthday party for a special trip to utah with daddy. awwww, he's such a man! (he also wants to take homemade oreo layered cake to church to share with his class on sunday.)

coop, we love you. so very much. more than the sun. more than the moon. and more than all the stars.  you are a vital piece to our family & we would never be complete without you.

1.  cooper's best friend: alec, keawe, titan
2.  cooper's name: cooper j watkins
3.  cooper prefers to go by: cooper
4.  cooper's favorite animals: siberian tiger
5.  what does cooper want to be when he grows up: a football player & a dad
6.  cooper's favorite movie: wild kratts & lego movie
7.  cooper's favorite song: "i know i can" by nas
8.  what makes cooper happy? when someone says a very funny thing & boxing with my daddy & brothers
9.  what makes cooper sad? when i'm having a lot of fun & i get injured & when i get scolded
10.  cooper's favorite food: omelettes, german pancakes, taco bells, & pizza
11.  cooper's favorite place: sydney opera house 
12.  cooper's favorite color: turquoise 
13.  cooper's favorite game: football & soccer
14.  cooper's #1 wish right now: to get a super bowl ring 

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