Letting him Experience Life without Me

This one.

This one right here.

He was the little for almost six years. Now he’s the middle.

In a way he’s always been the oldest. He knows that. I know that. It used to be unspoken about. Until one day he asked me.

He said, ‘I’m the older brother, aren’t I mom?’

I smiled. I cried. I hugged him. He knew.

He loves fishing, riding bike, playing baseball and hockey.

He loves being away from home. Being gone. Doing stuff. Socializing.

He has no time for movies or iPads. He wants friends. And activities. Which at times is nearly impossible in our world.

He’s my butterfly.

There are so many parts to having a special needs child that I didn’t know about.

A big one for me is not being able to mother each of my children the way they need. At least not all the time.

I didn’t know I’d have to share this one. Share experiences. Watch from afar and through photos.

He’s growing up before my eyes. Everyone that meets him comments about how old he seems. And I know why. He had too.

He’s the older brother in so many ways. It’s his reality.

With him I want time to stop. I want to keep him little. I want more.

I didn’t know I’d miss so much. It’s our reality. And trust me when I say we have it figured out as much as humanly possible. Jamie and I take turns.

We send him with friends and grandparents.

We hustle to keep his life as normal as possible.

He doesn’t know that watching him leave to go with friends to a fair or camping with grandma hurts my heart in so many ways. I wish we could take him. As a family.

Sometimes I let myself get upset about it. I watch him leave with friends and family, so excited to go, and I get jealous. And sad.

I’m missing it. I’m missing him.

The reality is we can’t. Our family can’t do it.

And good god I’m thankful for the people in his life that love him and take him.

I know that he is starting to associate me with Cooper. And home. He’s told me before.

‘You stay with Cooper mom. He needs you more.’

I sobbed over that.

I miss him all the time. But I have to let him grow up. I have to let him live life. I can’t keep him little forever. Or keep him here.

One day he is going to leave home. He is going to leave Jamie, Cooper and I.

And that is the most amazing, beautiful, heartbreaking thing ever. Because I know that not every kid gets that chance.

He’s pretty much the most amazing kid I know.

I watched him fishing tonight, baiting a hook, talking about catfish, standing on the dock, and I know I’m doing it right. He’s my right.

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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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