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Sunday, January 1, 2012

You Know You're a Parent.... (#4)

You Know You’re A Parent When…

You write a countdown letter to your newly born infant son...

Dear No. 3 Son,

It’s 11:47 p.m. HST on New Year’s Eve, 2011 and I’m writing this in the midst of a pink hospital overlooking much of Honolulu City and County.
Can't a guy just get a little sleep around here?

 11:50: While things are rocking and rolling in downtown Waikiki, up here the corridors are empty, doors are closed and all is quiet at this medical behemoth. (This is the quietest New Year’s Eve I can ever remember – but your arrival makes it the most exciting, and one I will never forget.)

11:52: Sitting close to you – my sleeping nine-hour-old son – your mother and I whisper and glance over at a muted, five-hour-old cable rerun counting down to midnight at Times Square.

11:53: The moon is a bright, white half-smile in the clear dark sky. This I discover only because a nurse stops by to say we should open the window blinds and catch the upcoming fireworks show.

11:57: I open a bottle of contraband – justifying the scandalous breach in protocol by telling myself if there was ever a time to have a sip, just a sip, mind you of something that tastes suspiciously like champagne – it’s today, Dec. 31, your Birth Day.

00:03: Mama and I spend a few minutes counting our blessings that you and her are both well and that this C-section was the easiest of the three.

00:05: We raise our plastic glasses to the memory of Uncle Junior who died exactly twelve years before you were born. Your birth means December 31 won’t have to be a day reflecting on loss.

00:07: Grandma, Grandpa and Special Guest Star, Uncle Jerry, call to wish us a Happy New Year. (Grandma says there are three glasses with twelve grapes each for when we bring you home Monday – I’ll explain that particular family tradition once you’re old enough. It involves wearing a red shirt and jumping up and down twelve timesJ)

00:17: For about fifteen minutes, the entire sky – from Waikiki to Honolulu international Airport and beyond was filled with thousands of fireworks from hundreds of groups and families.

Wow, what a great show and a cool way to celebrate your birthday!

01:53: Mama is sleeping and I’m looking at an old friend, the hospital blue chair, the one that opens – somehow – to a single bed. The sky is clear again, and it’s time to go to bed, but I just wanted to say Happy New Year, son. May you dream big, live large and be the person you are meant to be.

Happy New Year!
P.S. Another silly reason Mama and I were happy to see you today… your timely arrival means we’ll get a tax break for 2011. (We promise to use the extra funds to pick out the finest diapers and wipes money can buy at CostcoJ)


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations, proud father!

K.T. Hanna said...

We were thinking of you last night! Welcome to the world Son #3 :D


Leigh Covington said...

Oh my goodness... he is perfect and precious! CONGRATULATIONS! What a wonderful way to bring in the New Year!

C D Meetens said...

Aww, congratulations on the new arrival.

Emily R. King said...

Congrats! He slipped in just under the deadline. I guess he thought 2011 was better than 2012 will be. Here's hoping it's a great year for you all!

Mark Koopmans said...

Aloha and Mahalo to everyone for your well wishes and words of encouragement! It's been a blast, but. Must. Find. Sleep. :)

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Congratulations - what a beautiful little baby boy! I'm so glad all went well and you get a tax break, too! (I totally understand, my first was born on Dec. 27, which meant insurance paid for all of it because we had already met deductible AND a tax break.) Thanks for sharing your countdown, too! It was so sweet.

Joyce said...

Congratulations Papa! I loved and enjoyed reading your minute by minute account of your New Year's eve with your new baby boy. It was so endearing and sweet, it made me want to cry. Happy Birthday, my dear Kodey! Auntie loves you so much already! I cannot wait to meet you my love! Happy New Years to all of you Mark! Please give my love to everyone!

Stacy S. Jensen said...

Congratulations! Glad you are all doing well. And, such fun to see one of those hospital blankets. NPR did an essay on the company that produces them. Have a great 2012!

Hope Roberson said...

Congratulations! What an awesome way to end the year and usher in a new one :)

Anonymous said...

CONGRATS! Your little guys is adorable. I'm glad that everything went well.

Morgan said...

Ohhhhh... this was precious!!!!!

Huge congratulations to you! :D

Jocelyn Rish said...

Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! My dad was in the Navy, and my brother was actually born in that same pink Hawaiian hospital. He's met several others born there over the years, and it's always a fun bonding moment when they make that discovery. Blessings to your family!

Mark Koopmans said...

Hi everyone:)

Just wanted to let you know that Son No. 3 is officially home and he and Mama are doing well!

Thanks again for all the good wishes... we really appreciate them!

Now, let the games begin :)

JennaQuentin said...

What a beautiful letter for him to have later - writers make such great parents ;) Félicitations!

Nancy Thompson said...

Awww! How incredibly sweet! Congratulations, proud papa! I hope you print this or somehow save it and give to your new son. He'll treasure it someday.

It's nice to meet you, Mark. I came here via Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group and am now a follower.

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