It’s a simple question getting asked who your heroes are.  As a kid you always seem to go for your favorite sports star, musician or someone you see on T.V.  As you grow up, however, that answer tends to change.  At least in my experience, it has.

Being the oldest of four boys you can only hope that you set a good example for your younger brothers.  You try to make choices and do things you think they should do themselves.  But where do you draw your inspiration from?  For me, it’s my parents.  They both get an equal amount of credit but since this weekend is my mom’s birthday, she’s getting all the attention.  Sorry dad you’ll get your turn soon enough.

Everyone always says that their mom is the best.  Which is probably true because it’s their mom and who is anyone to argue that fact.  That said, my mom really is the best.  If you ever want to meet one of the toughest, hardest working, most loving people you talk to Jamie Cooper.  The four Cooper boys would not be who they are without her.  Yes, she helped raise four boys who are all two years apart from each other.  Have fun taking that group out in public by yourself.

No matter how rowdy the four of us could get she was always able to handle it in her own Jamie way.  One of the best examples is a story that is still talked about to this day.

It was an early August afternoon and mom was taking the four us back-to-school shopping.  I think I was around 10 or 11 at the time so that puts the youngest brother, Quinten, around five.  As you can guess probably guess there was a lot of energy in the car.  So, we’re all in the car driving to the mall in Lafayette.  The plan was to shop then meet up with dad for dinner once we were done.  Anyway, the three younger boys started bickering in the back of the car.  It gets louder and louder as they ignore the warnings coming from mom to knock it off.  Finally, she’s had enough.  In a matter of seconds, she’s pulled the car over, pulled all three of the boys out and gives them a little what for on the side of the highway.  The best part about this story is a semi-truck drives by right as all this is happening.  The driver honks his horn, gives mom a smile and an approving thumbs up.  You could say she felt pretty proud of herself that day since that was the first thing she shared with dad that evening.

She’s still proud of that moment where her parenting methods received approval from some random truck driver.  As she should be.  Growing up, she always did what was best for the four us.  She was stern and strict when she needed to be but she loved and supported us to no end.  It’s the same story today.  She has no problem getting on us if she thinks we need it even though we are grown up.  She also has no problem loving on us as if we were four years old again.  Even if my brother, Carter, tries his best to avoid the hugs she just keeps on coming.

To bring this full circle, yes, my mom is my hero.  She does so many different things.  She works for the school corporation I grew up in, works long hours on the family farm and yet somehow manages to have the house rearranged or some room re-painted every time I come home to visit.  Not to mention keeping my dad in check.  Jamie is definitely one of a kind.  Evan, Carter, Quinten, and I are very lucky.  Happy birthday, Mom.  I love you.

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