Number 8

Dear Cooper,
Today is your 8th birthday, and  I am amazed at how quickly these last eight years have gone.  You have gone from a scrawny peanut babe, to a big-big boy with a heart of gold, and hands that are almost as big as mine.  You Super Coop are my favorite 8-year old.
I have watched you grow and change so much over these last eight years, and it fills me with pride to know that you are growing into a wonderful young man.  You have seen some terribly hard things over the course of this year, you’ve lost a sister, a grandma and a beloved companion; but I have watched through these struggles, a perseverance and a compassion grow within you.  Cooper I hope you know that through these struggles you have become a stronger person, one who can shoulder burdens and bear the heartaches of life, with a strength that most people never have.
Don’t get me wrong, I wish only happiness and great things for your life. Please know that there is nothing that I wouldn’t do to keep you from knowing struggles and heartaches.  But life doesn’t  always play fair, and sometimes incredibly painful things happen to good people. As Jesus says in Matthew 5:45 “This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.” Do you know what that means Cooper?  It means that God doesn’t play favorites, he allows good things and bad things to happen to everyone.  He wants what’s best for us, and sometimes although his plan seems harsh and unfair, he is using hard things to grow us into better people, stronger people, more godly people!  You my precious boy, are taking the hard things, you’ve faced and allowing them to make you into a compassionate and caring boy.  That is a great gift Cooper, to be able to feel for people who are hurting and want to make them feel better.
Cooper, you are funny, energetic and charming. Your blue eyes can melt hearts from across the room.  I am amazed at your athletic ability (mostly because your dad and I are athletically challenged).  You are a great example to your younger brothers; a patient teacher, and devoted friend. I love watching you make goofy faces at Potter, trying to coax a smile from him.  You say the funniest things, and have an inquisitive and curious nature.  I love that you are a great student, and that your teachers say you are a pleasure to have in class, except for your messy desk 🙂
I love you Cooper, possibly more today than I did  on the day you were born.  You have taught me so much . You have helped me face my fears,and my shortcomings. You have taught me what it means to, nurture, and about the depth and width of a mothers love. Thank you Cooper for teaching me how to be a mom.  You my son, are the first person that I have ever loved with a love so powerful that it hurts.  I wouldn’t trade one minute of the last 8-years for all the riches in the world.  Happy 8th Birthday Cooper Conrad, I love you to pluto!
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