Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cooper Loops

Growing up Cooper was never boring.

For starters, we were an Air Force family for my first eight years, so we moved around a fair bit (which explains why the Anglophile California Girl was born in, of all places, Nebraska). All of this early nomadic activity gave us a certain strength and closeness. No matter where we went, we could entertain ourselves.

We settled in Folsom when I was nine, in a nice house on Randall Court. Randall Court was, essentially, a steep hill. My friends who came to visit after school marvelled that I walked up that hill every day from my bus stop. It wasn't so bad, really.

Our house was on a cul-de-sac, and contained five houses. It was the perfect venue for Cooper Loops.

A Cooper Loop, in case you are among the unenlightened, is simple: instead of pulling into the driveway of our house--the second one in from the corner, Dad would loop around the cul-de-sac and approach our driveway from the opposite direction, usually at a just-fast-enough pace to make our stomachs move around a little. It was, for some reason, hugely entertaining and funny.

There came a point where Aaron got over the hilarity of Cooper Loops, and instead showed a certain teenaged embarassment at being seen in the family minivan, looping around the cul-de-sac while his parents and little sister laughed uproariously. Once, he even threatened to open the back door and jump out. Mom gasped, Dad snapped, "Shut the door!" and Bratty Little Sister probably laughed even harder and said something along the lines of, "Get over yourself, Aar-head!" That's how little sisters roll.

It's been years since the four Coopers have done a Cooper Loop. I left for college, Aaron moved out on his own. We left the Randall Court house in 1998, and then the city of Folsom, in 2004. Mom and Dad live in yet another cul-de-sac, but this one doesn't lend itself to Cooper Loops like Randall Court did. Plus, the magic is gone.

Or...maybe it isn't. On a recent visit to Idaho, Mom and Dad went out to dinner with Aaron, his wife Susanne, and their two children. As they returned to Aaron and Susanne's house, Susanne executed a quick Cooper Loop in their looped driveway. Tyson and Echo laughed. Mom and Dad smiled and reminisced.

Aaron groaned and rolled his eyes.

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