I’m Sorry It Took So Long to Learn to be Your Mama


As I write this post you are sound asleep. You are curled up in the fetal position and breathing softly.

Although you are now 10 years old, as I gaze down at you, you are still my baby. It seems like yesterday that I first held you in my arms.

Tonight, before you fell asleep, you pulled me close for an ‘eye hug’. You nuzzled your right arm under my left shoulder and then pulled my face right in front of yours with your left hand.

When our faces met, you leaned your nose to mine and as our noses rested on each others, you gave me the biggest smile and then squinted your eyes in the biggest possible ‘eye smile’ you could muster.

I squinted mine back and smiled as I stared into your crystal blue eyes.

As soon as you felt our hug was over, you released me and then almost immediately signed ‘more’ and started the ‘eye hug’ ritual all over again.

How lucky am I to get such unconditional love every night.

How lucky am I to be your mama.

After you fell asleep on my arm tonight, I thought about all the days that led up to today….3728 of them to be exact.

Uh…if only I could turn back time.

So many of those days were spent with me worrying, stressing, googling.

All those days, hours. Lost.

When I could have been looking at ‘you’ instead of looking at the world around you…wondering if they’d accept you.

Wondering if they’d accept us?

I’m sorry I took so long to learn to be your mama.

You see, mama wasn’t as brave as you. I was worried about what people might think.

Mama wasn’t as strong as you. I thought if we were different then something was wrong with us.

Mama wasn’t as fearless as you. I was afraid of the unknown.

But you, you dear daughter, have taught me more lessons than any spiritual teacher could ever give.

You have taught me to be confident. You have taught me to be proud of who I am.

You have taught me to not be afraid of being ‘different’, to embrace diversity, and most of all…to love.




I’m sorry I took so long to learn to be your mama, but I’m here now. And honey, we are going to live!

“This sky is no place to lose our wings…so love, love, love.” Hafiz

Written by, Wendy Haley

Wendy Haley is a Special Education teacher and Kids Yoga instructor in British Columbia, Canada. She is raising a curious, hilarious, intuitive, beautiful young girl who happens to be diagnosed with autism. Wendy has a passion for helping parents of children with autism rebuild and restore the connection to their child that can sometimes be lost in the diagnosis process. When not ‘working’ or ‘mama-ing’, Wendy can be found stringing together various semi-precious beads into bracelets or dreaming of a tropical island. You can connect with her on her website www.alohalove.ca

Interested in writing for Finding Cooper’s Voice? LEARN MORE

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.

Avatar photo

Kate Swenson

Kate Swenson lives in Minnesota with her husband Jamie, and four children, Cooper, Sawyer, Harbor and Wynnie. Kate launched Finding Cooper's Voice from her couch while her now 11-year-old son Cooper was being diagnosed with autism. Back then it was a place to write. Today it is a living, thriving community of people who want to not only advocate for autism, but also make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities and their families. Her first book, Forever Boy, will be released, April 5, 2022.

Share this post: