What Do I Pray For?

When you get to a page this size, I’ve learned that a lot of people speak for me. Which comes with the territory I guess. And honestly, there is nothing I can really do about it nor do I actually care. But I always shake my head when a few of my ‘beliefs’ are spewed back at me.

The curing or fixing autism is the one I shake my head at the most. You won’t hear me talk about it. You won’t read my words about it.

I consciously choose to stay out of it publicly.

But it leads to a really good question that I do feel comfortable answering. Because I believe it shows a lot of insight into where I am on my journey as Cooper’s mom and how we evolve as time goes on.

What do I pray for? You know, when I am in my moments of desperation. Or, if I’m walking in the woods or sitting in a church.

Whether I’m talking to God or whomever, what do I pray for?

What do I say inside my head on repeat?

I can tell you that over the years it’s changed drastically. As Cooper has aged, and I have settled into the chaos that surrounds autism, my prayers have changed. They have evolved.

When Cooper was a baby I prayed for him to sleep. I prayed for him to be content. I prayed to understand why my baby wasn’t like any other baby I had ever met.

I prayed to know why he wasn’t meeting milestones. I prayed to understand why everything was so hard for him.

And I prayed for courage. I prayed to God that I was doing the right things. In the beginning it was so hard and confusing. Each time we moved our family for better therapies or started a new service I prayed. I prayed on repeat that I was making the right decisions for this vulnerable little human. We were carving our own path.

I prayed that it wasn’t autism because it was shrouded with so much fear.  Then, once we knew, I prayed that he was high functioning. I prayed because I was scared of the unknown. I prayed because I didn’t know anyone else that had an autistic child let alone one that didn’t speak.

But mostly, I just prayed. I was terrified.

Then, I prayed to understand. I prayed to accept that our life was going to be different. I prayed that I could be the best mother for my son. I prayed that I would give him his best life no matter what.

Then we went through some really hard years. And I prayed for it to be easier. Unless you’ve been there you will never understand. We couldn’t leave the house. If we did, it was a nightmare. His anxiety and rigidity were at an all time high. He didn’t sleep. He didn’t interact. He didn’t laugh.

I prayed for answers. But mostly, I just prayed.

I prayed for Cooper to be able to safely walk in the community. Or safely ride in the car. I prayed he wouldn’t push anyone. Or break anything. I prayed that I could keep my relationships. And my job.

I prayed for everything.

When we’d be in a speech therapy appointment or an evaluation and I’d watch him refuse to try and melt down I’d pray for him to try.

I’d pray that therapists and teachers would like him. I’d pray that my friends and family didn’t forget about him.

And lord did I wear out the sentence, please let him talk. I’d say it in my head on repeat as my world was crumbling down around me. Please talk. Please talk. Please talk. I thought, if he just said a word this will be okay. One damn word. Any word.

Then I prayed that he’d be healthy. I prayed to God to help me figure out why my kid was in pain. I’d be the one holding his sweaty, red, flailing body during a bout of constipation so fierce I knew we were headed for the ER. And I’d cry right along with him. I’d watch him beat his head with his fist and close my eyes and pray.

I’d pray that a doctor would listen to me. I’d pray that they would see my beautiful, innocent, amazing kid and actually give a flying you know what. Just once. Look at him. He’s in pain. I’m desperate here. Yes, he’s loud. Yes, he won’t stop moving. But so what. Help him.

I’d pray that he’d acknowledge his brother whom needed him so desperately. And join our family.

I’d pray that Kindergarten would work for him. That he wouldn’t get teased. That I wouldn’t have to worry like this for the rest of my life. Waiting for a phone call telling me something bad happened. Dreading pickup because I knew they’d tell me how bad the day was.

I prayed that he’d learn to use the toilet. And sleep through the night.

As he got older the prayers changed.

What do I pray for now?

I no longer pray for him to speak. That’s the truth. Don’t get me wrong, I still want that. But my outlook is different now. I pray for communication. I pray for him to develop a desire to communicate. I pray that he learns to read and type. And one day tells me what his favorite color is. And why he likes trains so much.

I pray that he is happy. I pray every single night that my kid isn’t lonely. That he knows how truly loved and treasured he is. That he will be safe for the rest of his life. And cared for. That he will never have to worry.

I pray that I stay healthy. And that I live to be 100. And that I am always mobile and able to care for my son.

I pray that my children learn to love each other. I pray that one day I can take both of my boys to a movie or a restaurant. Or go on a vacation. I pray for our future daily.

And if the isolation never goes away, I pray that our family can manage it without resentment or sadness.

I pray for strength to make the tough decisions.

I pray for balance between autism and the rest of my life.

I pray for patience in every aspect of the word. Patience to wait. Patience to understand. Patience to manage the exhausting trying parts.

I pray that we have found what works for Cooper. I say that because it took us nearly seven years and a lot of fails to find out what therapies work best for him.

I pray that I can continue to work and earn money for his future. He will need lifelong care. And we all know that people with disabilities are not valued in this world. It’s wrong but true. I pray that his dad and I can provide for him forever.

I pray for peace from the worry. The worries that keep me up at night.

I pray for acceptance. Acceptance for myself as a mother and acceptance for the world. That no one ever hurts my child.

I pray that he understands safety and danger. And that he doesn’t run into oncoming traffic or go missing.

But mostly, I just pray for my babies future. And that he achieves everything he is capable of.

You’ll notice that one prayer is missing. Curing my kid. I’ve never once typed those words on this page. Or I doubt even said them out loud. Honestly, my son is autistic. He will be for the rest of his life. And he is amazing.

I love his quirks. His sense of humor. His heart. His vulnerability.

Take that away and we wouldn’t have Super Cooper. But I do pray that all of his hard parts get easier. That he has no pain. No worry. The he knows how truly loved and treasured he is.

And I won’t apologize for that. Not ever.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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  • Uma

    June 21, 2018 at 8:09 pm
    Reply

    A nice lady had shared this page on one of the fb page I am following. I was telling her how much this article connected […] Read MoreA nice lady had shared this page on one of the fb page I am following. I was telling her how much this article connected with me, I too pray, a lot. And when I read this article, I realized how true it was. My priorities changed over years and so did my prayers. Some were answered and some , I still hope , will be. Thank your for your words. It made me stop and look back the journey I am in. Read Less

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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