I’m Thankful For You: My Family

(Editor’s Note: This article was provided by Amber Watts and is part of Cooper’s, ‘I’m Thankful For You’ Campaign.)

The November I want to honor and thank my mom and my sister-in-law. We are working on building our daughter’s village but as of now these are the two I’m most thankful for. On the left is my mom (Reba) and on the right is my sister-in-law (Jennifer). Both with my baby girl.

My daughter’s name is Kendal. She turned four on November 1st. As of now, she is nonverbal and could possibly be on the spectrum. She is so smart, funny and loving! She doesn’t really stay with anyone but these two beside me. Kendal has grown up a lot since her baby sister came along last year. We have very few meltdowns. But there are times when she still gets frustrated. Specifically when she can’t get her point across or we don’t know what she wants immediately! But we are working on it. Waiting is the hardest for her at the moment.

Thank You Mom

Through it all my mom has been my saving grace. My mom was always there to rescue me after a bad night, if I needed a nap, to take a shower or to fix my family dinner. She has always accepted Kendal for who she is and never doubted that Kendal could be and do whatever she wanted. She saved me more days then she will ever know. I realized when Kendal was one that working out gave me peace of mind and my mom was always there to help babysit for me to go. She never told me no! She was next best thing to me when it came to Kendal. She also kept Kendal on my schedule. Which was so so important to me! I truly can never thank her enough for everything she has done and continues to do for me and Kendal.

She was the person to first point out the red flags to me and mention the word autism. As much at the time I didn’t want to hear it, she knew I needed to hear it. And she knew she needed to prepare me for it. Just in case. And obviously she knew what she was talking about cause here we are preparing ourselves for the evaluation.

I just want her to know how much I appreciate her and her honesty. Even when I didn’t want to hear it. I want to thank her for loving Kendal no different than she does the other grand kids! I want to thank her for being here for me when I needed her. I honestly couldn’t make it without her! And the love Kendal has for her makes my heart so happy! I see Kendal climb up in her lap and kiss her and I know how much she means to her! I see her doing our little techniques to calm Kendal down when she’s upset.

Thank You Jennifer

My sister-in-law and I weren’t very close before Kendal came along. She also had a baby boy just seventeen days before Kendal was born. It was like God sent us these babies to bring us closer! And I’m so glad he did.

Kendal loved her aunt from the very beginning. It was like they just clicked! There isn’t a doubt that she loves Kendal as if she was hers and she’s my go to babysitter if I’m away from home. Kendal loves to go to her house. She is Kendal’s pick by far besides me! To see them together and the way Kendal connects with her makes my heart happy! Kendal doesn’t connect with anyone really. Well, very, very few!

Jennifer has always been the best loving, motherly, playful aunt than I could ask for. She spoils Kendal rotten and Kendal loves it. Kendal knows she can get anything she wants from Nin. (That’s what we call her) She can also get Nin to do anything she wants. She has always made sure I never had to worry about Kendal crying as long as she was around. Kendal loves to be pushed in any ride, toy, stroller, anything that goes, and I’ve seen her push her so long she’s exhausted. But never stops because she knows that Kendal doesn’t want her to stop.

I know if something ever happened to me that she would take wonderful care of Kendal and make sure that she got everything she needed and wanted! I can’t thank her enough for just being her! and loving Kendal. It truly means the world to me. It comforts me on a level that no one really understands. So, Jennifer, thank you from the bottom of my heart, for being you and who you are to Kendal. It means more than you will ever know!

Kendal goes for her autism evaluation on December 1st. I have prepared myself as much as possible for the results. To say I’m nervous is an understatement but I know my momma will be there with me every step of the way. She will be the person to sit in the dark with me while I cry and say all my nasty things about autism. While I go through all my why’s, why mes, and why my baby?

I am a stay at home mom and it’s so hard some days and I don’t get much adult, kid free interaction. Some days are very long and tiring. But of course the most rewarding job also. My husband is an electrical engineer and I’m blessed to have him. He’s a wonderful daddy. After long days at work he always makes time for the kids and let’s me have a few moments to myself, which I normally need in a bad way by the time he gets home.

But this is us! I am so thankful for our little family.


You can still nominate the doctors, therapists, teachers, friends and family that make a difference in your special needs world. Click HERE to learn how!

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