And then Friday he was diagnosed with pneumonia. He had been fighting a cold and asthma-like symptoms that got much worse. We were able to treat his pneumonia with two oral antibiotics at home.
Cooper was devastated to miss board game day in his classroom and the annual autumn Scout camping trip. He was cheered by a cookie bouquet from Sharon and her family; a visit from Grandma; and two days with Uncle Jim, who was going to camp with Cooper but instead watched movies, helped make indoor s'mores and camped out upstairs with Cooper.
Cooper returned to school Tuesday in time to see the awesome One for Books display in the library, part of our school's book fair. All the names on the board represent a child or adult who donated money to be used to buy books for Children's Medical Center in memory of Steve.
Katie decided that she wanted to be extra fancy, like Fancy Nancy, this week and wore her sparkliest shoes and one of her prettiest dresses to preschool.
On Wednesday, I joined her class for a Thanksgiving feast. This place mat includes hand prints from all four of us -- Katie, Cooper, me and Steve. Katie's teacher was thoughtful enough to ask in late August that I trace Steve's hand for this project. I've saved his original hand print as a pattern to use for future projects -- and as a sweet reminder.
Katie and her classmates dressed as pumpkins for the lunch. It was the first preschool Thanksgiving feast without Steve -- one of countless painful firsts. Steve loved attending, never hesitating to reschedule a meeting or take a long lunch in order to sit in a crowded gym, admire handmade centerpieces and eat with Cooper or Katie and me.
Third-graders attended a touring company's opera performance this morning. Cooper put together his ensemble, including blue blazer and bow tie. When he came home this afternoon, I asked how he liked the show, "Three Billy Goats Gruff." His only complaint was that 30 minutes was too short.
While Cooper was at the opera, I was helping Albi, the librarian at Children's Medical Center at Legacy, shop for books. Albi let me choose a couple of Steve favorites -- books featuring Skippyjon Jones and Fancy Nancy. I am so thankful for Suzanne and Nicole (not shown), who organized the book fair and donation, and for all the Bledsoe families and neighbors who contributed.