Age is Just a Number in Our World

You were sitting on the floor. Near me.

You like to be close. But not too close.

Just close enough to see me. And know I’m near.

I thought before the baby was born that you might struggle with sharing me. I was wrong thankfully.

You seem to have no problem with me caring for the baby. As long as I’m close. As long as I’m home.

On this beautiful, lazy evening, while you sat sprawled out next to me watching Daniel Tiger, I was playing with your baby brother. He is so close to crawling.

I was tickling him. Blowing raspberries on his neck. He was laughing. Squealing at times.

You always seem to be oblivious to what’s going on around you but I know, that deep down, you are paying attention.

You could tell we were having fun.

You put your hand to my face, cupped my cheek like you do, and said your loud, deep, M—O—M, and pointed to your feet.

You took your sock off. And waited. Smirking at me.

You knew that I knew what you wanted me to do.

I picked up your bare foot, smelled it super loudly and dramatically, and then fell back screaming YUK STINKY FEET!

You laughed. You love our stinky feet game. And then you smiled. And pointed to your toes.

You wanted me to do ‘This Little Piggy’. Like we’ve done one million times before. You love how I do the wee-wee all the way home. It’s your favorite.

I run my hand up your leg, tickle your tush and your belly and eventually all over while screaming wee-wee-wee.

You think I am hilarious.

I finished with your left foot and turned to do the babies feet.

You watched. And laughed as he got his tickles. And then pointed to your right foot.

You requested more.

For some reason I had one of those moments. I was outside of my body. Watching.

I saw a mom. I saw an 8 year old boy. Almost 9. And a little baby.

The mom was playing baby games. With both.

She turned from one to the other. Back and forth.

Earlier in the day you had speech therapy. I had to sit with my back to the door, hand over the light switch so you wouldn’t escape or turn the light off. Of course that didn’t stop you from trying.

You had a visual schedule that said, ‘mouth, words, puzzles, book, home.’

We sang The Wheels on the Bus. You scooped rice with a shovel. You did puzzles for a 2 or 3 year old.

You clumsily placed cars, trucks and trains into their slots and laughed and gasped when the coordinating sound filled the room.

You love sounds. I love how much you love sounds. You always, and I mean always, point to your ear, look me directly in the eye and scream with joy.

It’s my favorite.

Tonight, before bed I know we will play peek-a-boo. We will read books about Barney and Thomas.

I will tuck you in. And kiss your head.

You are my baby. My son.

You are 8. Almost 9. That is your age on paper. You should be going into third grade.

Only you are not.

And while I was a fly on the wall in my living room, watching a mother tickle toes and smell feet, I realized that the baby is going to pass the brother soon.

I know it because I see it coming.

I know it because I prepared for it while I was pregnant.

And I know it because a follower once told me that her grandchildren passed her now adult son. A thought that had never occurred to me before.

And I can pretend that it’s not sad. I can tell myself it’s fine. And it’s okay.

You can tell me he is happy. And healthy. And thriving. All things that are true.

But.

I know the day is coming. And it stings. It hurts. And it’s a perfect reason to jump into the rabbit hole for the night and wonder why. And say it’s not fair.

Tomorrow, I will be fine.

I will dress you. I will put your shoes on. I will feed you your breakfast. I will wash your face and brush your teeth.

We will sing The Ants Go Marching In and pretend to be elephants.

I will hold your hand as we walk to the car. And buckle your seatbelt.

I will remind myself that age is just a number. And tell myself it doesn’t matter anyways. Because you are awesome. And you are my everything.

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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, subscribe for exclusive videos, 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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