When I Think About Someday

This afternoon, on a beautiful Sunday, I found myself in my son Sawyer’s bedroom unpacking a box full of children’s books. Sawyer was sorta helping me. Chatting away nonstop while watching his Kindle, loading his Nerf Gun and reading a book. Every few minutes Cooper would appear. Sometimes he’d sit down next to me. Sometimes he’d grab my face and show me something on his Kindle or point to something outside.

And then, like a flash he’d be gone. This is what Cooper does. He wanders. Always close. Never far. Never still.

As I unpacked the books, one caught my eye.

It’s called Someday by Alison Meghee and Peter H. Reynolds. I knew this book. My mom bought if for me when I had Cooper. It’s a book about a little girl growing up. It’s a book about the hopes and dreams that we as parents have for our children. It’s a book that I read when Cooper was just a few months old and I couldn’t imagine him growing up. I couldn’t even think about it.

It’s a book that I read when my vision of  ‘someday’ was very different.

I found myself opening it. I knew I shouldn’t. I did it anyways. I must be a glutton for punishment. Who knows.

The first page held a hand scribbled note from my mom.

‘Katie, You are a very special daughter. Much love, Mom’

And then the first page of text.

‘One day I counted your fingers and kissed each one. One day the first snowflakes fell, and I held you and watched them melt on your baby skin. One day we crossed the street and you held my hand tight. Then, you were my baby. And now you are my child.’

The pictures are of a little girl biking. She’s little at first and riding her bike alongside her mom. And then she’s older, riding alone.

The book goes onto to talk about the dreams the mom has for her daughter.

By this point, I was crying. Not bad, but I could feel it coming. Both my boys were next to me. Sawyer chatting away. And Cooper dancing and twirling and humming. Both oblivious to what I was doing. So different. Polar opposites actually. Both perfect in every way.

I read on.

‘Sometimes, when you sleep, I watch you dream and I dream too…That someday you will dive into the cool, clear water of a lake. Someday you will walk into a deep wood. Someday you eyes will be filled with a joy so deep that they shine. Someday you will swing so high…so high, higher than you ever dared to swing.’

And with each page I saw my Sawyer. Growing up before my eyes. Living every dream I ever had for him. He is five going on twelve. He is funny and wild and all boy in every way. And yet, when we are alone, he holds my hand. He snuggles me constantly. He is a mamas boy in every single way.

And I know, that before I know it, he is going to be grown.

I read on.

‘Someday I will stand on this porch and watch your arms waving to me until I can no longer see you. Someday you will look at this house and wonder how something that feels so big can look so small. Someday you will feel a small weight against your strong back. Someday I will watch you brushing your child’s hair.’

My eyes left the page and looked up at Cooper. Dancing and twirling. Arms flapping. His mouth chatting away. None of them words. Mostly hums and grunts. All of them joyous. And lost in a Barney video he has been watching for nearly seven years. Oblivious to me. Oblivious to his brother.

And with that, I lost it. I silently got up and walked into the bathroom and shut the door. And I finally let the tears fall from my cheeks.  I said my silent, almost manic prayer I have said a million times. ‘Please God, take care of my Cooper. Please, please, please. Please God make this okay.’

And behind the locked door I let the fear of his ‘someday’ wash over me.

Cooper is most likely never going to leave me. He is never going to feel a small weight of his child against his back. I most likely will not see him brushing his child’s hair. He most likely won’t know when I am gone. He may never grow up.  He may be my ‘not so little’ boy forever.

I let the tears fall and fall. I actually couldn’t stop them. I haven’t had a good bathroom cry in years. If you are a special needs mom you know all about these. At least I do. I just sat on the toilet and cried.

We all start out with the same ‘somedays’ for our children. We want them to be healthy and happy. We want them to experience life. Make friends. Succeed at school. Grow up strong and brave. And then leave home. Get a job. Go to college. Meet someone. Have babies. This is the cycle of life.

And it is absolutely crushing when the ‘someday’ we envisioned for our children changes. It may be slow. Or it may happen fast. Either way, it’s hard.

As I sat on the toilet, I thought about what my beautiful boy’s book would say.

‘My sweet boy,

Someday, I hope you learn to communicate with me. Someday, I hope you can tell me your favorite color, animal and song. Someday, I selfishly hope that you can say mom. Just once, before I am gone.

Someday, I hope you make a friend. And know how truly loved you are.

Someday, I hope you can tell mommy if something hurts. Or if someone is being mean to you.

Someday, I hope we can calm your anxieties and your fears.

Someday, I hope you can care for yourself. And if you can’t, I hope I find someone to care for you after I’m gone.

Someday, I hope you understand that mom can’t be with you forever.

Someday, I hope I won’t be so scared.

Someday, I hope I can feel like I did enough. That I pushed you enough. That I held you enough. That I made the right decisions.

Someday, I hope you can enjoy life outside of our home.

Someday, I hope you and your brother learn to communicate. And share the love that all brothers should.

Someday, I hope you get to be an uncle. And I pray that you know what that means.

Someday, I hope the world can accept you just as just as you are. And that everyone sees how absolutely amazing you are Cooper.

Someday, I pray your dad and I find peace in knowing that you are safe. And loved.

Someday, I hope I am enough to carry you for the rest of my life.

Someday, I hope I realize that I am strong enough to do this.

Someday, I hope you think of me and know that you changed me in the most amazing way. That you gave me a purpose. That you changed the world just by being you.’

Read the book Someday by Alison Meghee and Peter H. Reynolds: Someday

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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Comments

  • Tammy

    January 9, 2019 at 7:58 pm
    Reply

    Kate you write so beautifully. Thank you so much.

  • Maureen

    January 9, 2019 at 8:52 pm
    Reply

    I hope all your dreams come true, Kate. Love the photo of the two brothers.❤️

  • Peter Reynolds

    January 10, 2019 at 9:37 am
    Reply

    Katie... I loved reading your beautiful words. I also loved your own version of "Someday." I illustrated it in my mind as I read each […] Read MoreKatie... I loved reading your beautiful words. I also loved your own version of "Someday." I illustrated it in my mind as I read each sentence. It is wonderful to "connect the dots" with you! Keep inspiring those around you! Warmly, Peter Read Less

  • Danelle

    January 10, 2019 at 4:26 pm
    Reply

    Another thought provoking insight into the life of a special needs momma. I am confused though. Sometimes you say Cooper says your name - mmm […] Read MoreAnother thought provoking insight into the life of a special needs momma. I am confused though. Sometimes you say Cooper says your name - mmm aaaa mmmm. Do you want him to just say it outright and not phonetically? 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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