It’s the Isolation that Got Us

My son is starting to communicate. It’s almost unbelievable to me.

If you would have told me a year ago that my son would even attempt to say words I wouldn’t have believed you.

If you would have told me two years ago that he would be potty trained I also would have probably laughed at you.

Not because he isn’t smart and amazing. But because it just seemed so impossible at the time.

But I was wrong. He is blowing us away lately.

He has started dressing himself.

He has started sitting. And playing.

He will try new foods. He will hold his baby brother.

I could go on and on about the improvements we’ve seen over the last two months.

But you know what…none of them compare to Cooper going for walks.

That sounds so funny, right?

But it’s been life changing.

Every night we pack up the baby in the stroller, Sawyer gets on his bike, and Cooper puts his shoes on.

And off we go. The five of us.

We wave at the neighbors. We chat with people as we go.

We sit at the park and talk.

We are in our community.

A year ago if we tried this, and I say if because Cooper refused to leave our house, he would be running. Screaming. Dropping to the ground. Rolling. In the road.

Refusing to walk. It was like pulling teeth.

For 7 long years we almost dreaded summer. Because it meant we were stuck inside.

Facebook photos from other families enjoying the world made me sick.

Yes, of course, Jamie and I would take turns going outside with Sawyer. But never as a family.

We did everything separate.

Our doors were triple locked. Windows locked. Alarms were set.

We used to say that we watched the world through our front window.

I know people thought we were antisocial. Which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

We simply couldn’t go. Our son couldn’t do it.

But something changed this spring. Something clicked for Cooper.

Now he asks to go for walks. We spend an hour or so wandering around the neighborhood. We visit multiple parks.

People know his name. They wave at him. They smile at our baby.

Jamie and I are like new people. And I mean that fully.

We can have our front door open too. The garage door can be open as well.

This is all new.

People say all the time…what’s the hardest part for your family?

And it’s a very simple answer for me.

It wasn’t the lack of communication, behaviors, or diaper changes. Waking up at night or even the meltdowns that got us. (But yes, those things are all hard!)

It was the isolation from the world. Being locked up. Hidden away.

That’s what got us anyways. It made us feel crazy.

Cooper learning to go for walks is our everything right now.

If you see us walking around, say hi. And know that we prayed for this. And that we worked on it for years.

This is our biggest success right now. Walking.

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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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