Today was Cooper's 8th birthday and my brother's 39th. I remember when my water broke on my brother's birthday (5 weeks before my due date) I couldn't believe it. I felt kind of guilty that I was having my baby on my brother's big day. Luckily my brother thought it was cool that Cooper and him could share the day.
My family has an odd thing with birthdays. I was born on my grandmother's birthday. Cooper was born on my brother's birthday. Then came Avery, my brother's daughter, who was born on my and my grandma's birthday. It seems we only have a few select days to have children in our family. Once Avery came into the world and then quickly left it, I realized just how special sharing a birthday can be. Sharing a birthday is like being in a secret club. Me, my grandma Norma and Avery have our own day. Just to celebrate us. Even though Avery and Norma aren't here to celebrate, I think of them every birthday (even when it isn't my birthday). Like today.
Cooper was a tiny baby - only 6 pounds at birth - and wasn't very healthy at first. I know, I know, you would never guess that by looking at him today. He was scrawny and gray and didn't cry for the longest time. When he finally cried and I saw his little warped head, I sobbed. He was here. He was healthy. He was mine. I have never loved anything more in my life. And I was so proud that he shared the same birthday with my one and only brother. It was fun. It was special.
I thought of Avery today and wondered what she would have thought of her dad and cousin sharing a birthday. I wonder what she would have thought about sharing her birthday with me. I know that by sharing my birthday with her, I am forever joined to her. I have some of my grandma's traits... I wonder if Avery would have had any of mine. I love that my birthday will always be "our" day. I am thankful for that. I wonder if Cooper thinks that about his Uncle Mike. I hope so.
Today we celebrated Cooper and Mike. A little basketball, a little baseball, some pizza, and cake. It is hard to believe that my tiny, 6 pound baby is now over 60 pounds and 8 years old. He can read anything, is incredibly fast on math facts, can ride a bike, tie shoes, play a mean game of Horse, and play the piano. He amazes me. And he has a terrific sense of humor... he has that in common (and much more) with his uncle. Must be the birthday. I am honored to be Cooper's mom and Mike's sister.
Celebrate birthdays. Even if the birthday boy or girl isn't with us anymore. Have fun. It will put a smile on your face and in your heart. A birthday reminds us that time passes quickly and to enjoy each other. Be thankful for each and every birthday you are given. Even if it is your 40th. Heads up, Mike. It's coming...