Naked and Unafraid

Let’s be honest, more than likely you never saw yourself where you are at this moment in time – you had a different picture.

There are moments in our lives that change us – they can change our path in life or maybe just change a feeling we have.

Being a military family means moving, which means making new friends. We have been blessed with wonderful, and VERY understanding people in our lives at every location we have lived.

My seven-year-old, Bodi, is a very social boy who always has many friends. Bodi has always included Ryder in everything he does.

I’ve been blessed with two boys who have had an unspoken bond since the moment they met. I believe Bodi is a major factor in Ryder’s social improvements over the last two years.

The boys were invited to a birthday party at the inflatable bounce place in town – the birthday party was for the owner’s son!

For a long time, Ryder was terrified of inflatables. He was legitimately frightened and he would not get in them, on them, or near them.

He had been to this specific place no less than 20 times before the party so I thought it would be okay- it was an easy yes – and for the most part, it was!

We got to the party and there were at least 50 people in attendance. My anxiety instantly shot through the roof and I was ready for a quick exit.

Ryder looked around a bit, this was different than he was used to here. Just when I was about to leave, something odd happened.

Ryder took off running – TO PLAY!

He ran off with kids he had never seen before around adults he did not know! I was so happy for him, so proud, and quite frankly I was shocked.

The party went on, the kids were having a blast playing with nerf guns, eating, laughing – and then it happened.

The one moment that I was not prepared for happened. Someone I’d never met before pointed to the top of the very large double slide and asked: “who’s kid is that?”

I knew. Without looking I knew the child in question was mine.

My sweet little boy was butt naked, clothes were thrown, at the top of this double slide for all to see.

I was mortified. I begged my friend to let me pay for the slides to be cleaned.

Ryder had no shame, no care in the world. He was living in this moment naked and completely unafraid.

I immediately ran to the top of the slide picking up socks, shorts, his shirt, his pull up. He just kept laughing.

Deep belly laughs with a smile from ear to ear. He kept running away from me up and down the ladder.

He thought this whole incident was hilarious.

It was at this moment I knew. I knew this would not be the last of these moments.

It would not be the last time I felt this way.

My boy would forever be in his own world and in a way, I was a little bit jealous!

I was jealous that he didn’t see the people around him laughing and watching the situation. He didn’t see the kids doing what kids do pointing and laughing.

I was jealous that he didn’t feel embarrassment. All he saw was his mom chasing him playfully.

He was living in the moment without a care in the world – he was truly happy.

My jealousy quickly turned to happiness. He had overcome his fear of inflatables.

He had spent the last hour playing with kids he had never met around adults he had never met.

I was proud. All of his hard work was paying off!

What more could I possibly want for him at this moment? Nothing.

Written by, Jessica Cook 

I am a former marine, Marine wife, current full-time nerd working in the Cyber Security field. I am a mom of two boys and 6 fur babies. My youngest, Ryder, is 3.5 and autistic and my 6-year-old Bodi is typical in every way. He adores his brother – they were put on this earth to be brothers and I was definitely meant to be his momma. You can follow our journey on Facebook at Ryding the Spectrum.

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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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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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