A Letter to my Son, High School Graduate of the Class of 2019

Dear Sean,

Congratulations! You did it!

My heart is filled with pride and happiness over all you have achieved and the amazing young man that you have become.

Reflecting back as I look through old pictures and letters I have saved for you, brings back so many amazing memories

I remember how you knew the names of all the Thomas trains and played with them for hours on end. You even took your favorite train to sleep every night!

I remember the elaborate hot wheels tracks that you and your brother spent hours making that sprawled across the entire basement.

You knew the names to every bug in the back yard and never let me kill a spider. You used to scoop them up in a cup, take them outside, and let them go free.

I remember your first little league game when you were more interested in the bugs crawling in the outfield grass than the boy up to bat who might hit the ball your way.

I remember how excited you would be the night before a football or baseball game. The next morning I often found you asleep with your football or glove tucked under your arm.

I remember all of your pet fish. You had special names for each of them and researched ways to help them live long and be healthy.

You filled their aquariums with the best rocks and filters. These are just a few of the memories I hold in my heart!

But some of the memories I have are very different from most of your friends and their families.

I remember when we first told you your little sister had autism. You were 11 years old.

You told me that she was fine just the way she was. I explained all of her struggles and how life will be different for us as a family, but that didn’t upset you.

She was still perfect in your eyes. I remember how badly you wanted to teach her to play catch with a bouncy ball.

I told you that it would probably never happen. Her hand/eye coordination was lacking and I was afraid the ball would just hit her in the face and scare her.

You didn’t listen and kept trying over and over to help her catch the ball and throw it back.

After several months, you were so proud to show me that you did it!

I remember you telling me that you wished she could be like other little brothers and sisters.

You wanted to teach her how to play softball and help her learn about all the bugs in the backyard. Although you were disappointed when you realized she wasn’t able to do those things, you adjusted.

You found ways to make her happy pulling her in the sled, splashing water in the kiddie pool and making silly faces and noises just to see her laugh.

I remember many baseball tournaments when we sat way out in left field because we were afraid her stimming would disturb others. I was worried that it would be embarrassing to you.

But after each game, you took her by the hand, proudly walked past your teammates, and headed to the car.

I remember the tough nights after the most difficult days when you saw me at my worst. I tried to keep my heartbreak from making you sad, but I know you saw it.

I told you not to worry. I won’t give up. Don’t ever give up on the ones you love.

I think maybe I set a good example because you graduated from high school and made your dream of playing college baseball a reality, even when others said you couldn’t.

Since you’ll be heading off to college in a few short months, I have a few requests…

Please keep Anna in your prayers. She needs them so much! And please try to come home when you can and facetime once in a while.

You can make silly noises and faces over facetime. She’ll laugh like crazy and maybe she won’t miss you so much!

So now this is the end, my final graduation message to you: Congratulations on everything you have achieved, good luck and best wishes for a future filled with happiness, success, friendship, love, and amazing moments; and most of all…thank you for the memories!!!

I love you always,

Mom xoxoxo

Written by, Catherine Berg

Catherine Berg lives in Shelby Township, MI with her husband and four amazing children.  She works part time as a substitute teacher, waitress, and ABA therapist.

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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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