Thursday, August 25, 2016

Bedtime with Cooper

We had the honor of meeting our new niece Amelia.

I didn't feel the least bit guilty about hogging time with the baby.

During nap time for my nephew, the boys hopscotched along rocks in a Cincinnati river.

When we were under our first tornado warning last week, the boys and I moved dinner to the basement.  They found the whole concept of a "tornado dinner party" to be fun.

The TV meteorologist recommended going to the basement and wearing a bicycle helmet during our second round of tornado warnings.  We hate to be insensitive, but Chris found humor in the situation.

Bedtime is my favorite part of the day.

That's a statement I never imagined writing without having my nose grow like Pinocchio. 

For years, I dreaded bedtime.  Bedtime was like the final six miles in a marathon.  It was the portion of the day when I was already exhausted, and then required to put on a final sprint (with lots of additional hurdles).

I loathed evening bath time.  Our baths were a bit more active than those vintage Calgon commercials.  By the end of bathing four boys, the bathroom looked like a soggy aquatic center.  My sons would emerge from the soapy water with more energy and vigor than before they stepped foot in the tub.  Oftentimes, they would sprint out of the bathroom and frolic around in their wet birthday suits.  I was forced to race after them with a towel big enough to wrestle them to the ground.

When I finally tucked them into their beds and turned off the lights, I braced myself for the second leg of the race.  It was the unexpected extra mileage that crept up when boys would reemerge from their darkended rooms with cries for water, hugs, snacks, and extra books.

My boys are older now.  They shower independently.  In fact, they would be mortified if I was any part of their bathing or changing process.  They all know how to read.  And, several sons routinely pick comic books in those final minutes of the day before sleep takes hold.   

A few months ago, I asked Cooper if we could read a book together before bed.  Surprisingly, he agreed.  We both traveled down to the local library and scanned the stacks.  He pulled out Bridge to Terabithia.  It was a unique selection, but something that seemed appealing to both of us.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I looked forward to reading that book together.  It was a story that captivated us both and tugged at our heart strings.  And when a death occurred in the book (sorry...hope not to ruin it:)), Cooper stopped me mid-sentence and asked, " she died?"  It was a possibility neither one of us wanted to acknowledge.  When I nodded, we both tried to hold back tears.  And when the book finally ended, we both seemed to be a little lost.

Now, we are reading the kids version of Boys in a Boat.  It's been timely to read about the struggles to secure an Olympic spot in the 1930s while the Rio games were being held.  

I'm jealous and protective of this time with Cooper. Unwilling to even allow Chris to take a turn.  While I'm loving the storylines, the time nestled with Cooper in his bed while clutching a book is the most precious part of the experience.  

One day he'll be too old for this time, but every evening we have together is a beautiful part of our story.  

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