Hello 3 AM, We Meet Again

Hello 3 am. We meet again.

I can’t remember the last time I slept fully and peacefully without seeing you and getting stuck here in these lonely early hours, while the rest of the world sleeps.

I’m not sure what wakes me, maybe it’s a dream.

Or maybe my brain is just more active at this time of the morning, when everyone else is still sleeping and the quiet space gives me time for the anxieties and worries to creep in.

I am blessed with a good sleeper. My almost 4 year old sleeps through most nights now.

He sleeps in our bed, right in the middle and it works for all of us. He feels safe and secure and we get to rest.

When I wake up to a quiet house at 3 am every morning, it’s not the new life growing inside of me that dominates my inner most thoughts and worries and stops me going back to sleep.

It’s not the pregnancy or closely upcoming birth that I think about.

To be honest those things don’t phase me at all. I have learnt that birth and babies are the easy bit.

I look across at my sleeping son, lying next to me.

I could look at his peaceful, angelic face all night.  I have never felt love like it, he is my absolute life.

He’s amazing in so many ways and has over come so many challenges already, in his short life.

My son was diagnosed with autism earlier this year. It didn’t come as a surprise to us at the time, we already knew for a long time before the official diagnosis.

I knew in my heart from a very early age that he was different.

This 3 am I am thinking about my son’s first day at his new preschool today.

I’m worrying about how he refuses to wear his new school jumper despite many trial runs. I’m worrying that he’ll have a melt down as soon as he wakes up, as he knows it’s his first day and the anxiety will take over.

I’m worrying that he won’t eat his breakfast and he’ll go to preschool with an empty tummy.

I’m worrying about the short journey and the small walk in to the school grounds in case he refuses to cooperate.

I’m worrying that I’ll fall apart when I have to drop him off when he looks so small and so frightened as I hand him over to his key worker.

At this quiet hour my mind is always going back in time too. It looks back over the last 3 years and thinks about all the things that my son has over come and achieved.

It rewinds over all the difficulties and hard times when we have had to struggle and pull ourselves through as a family.

It goes back to those very early days, early signs that my son was autistic.

Melt downs at baby and toddler classes and groups. Melt downs at family gatherings.

Delayed skills and speech and language. Melt downs during days out and holidays.

Life has always been harder than we imagined it would be.

But lastly as always my mind moves on to the future.

Autism is forever. It never goes away. And with that comes a life time of worries and challenges.

School, friends, bullies, holidays, finances, college, independence, adulthood, housing.

The list goes on and on and I never stop worrying about all those things.

But for now I try to just take things one day at a time. One challenge at a time.

I bring my thoughts back to the present and keep them here.

Today is my son’s first day at his new preschool and it’s a huge milestone and challenge.

We have done everything we can to prepare him for this, lots of photos and visual schedule boards, he’s been on short visits to see the class room and staff, we have talked about it no end.

He has an Education and Health Care Plan in place and funded one-to-one support. This took over a year of fighting to get.

Now, I just have to trust my wonderful, amazing son to do his very best, as he always does and conquer this next big life challenge.

He amazes me every day with what he can achieve and over come, in a world he struggles in and doesn’t really understand.

He never stops fighting and surprising us. And I will never stop fighting for him and believing in him.

He’s an inspiration to me.

To all the parents, who like me, lie awake and worry over all these things, try to take it one day at a time, one challenge at a time.

There are not enough hours in the day to worry about everything, just focus on the now.

Our children are amazing and are capable of so much with our support and love.

They will continue to amaze and surprise us for the rest of their lives.

Written by, An Anonymous Mother

Finding Cooper’s Voice accepts guest posts from writers who choose to stay anonymous. I do this because so many of these topics are hard to talk about. The writers are worried about being shamed. They are worried about being judged. As a writer and mother I totally get it. But I also understand the importance of telling our stories. And this will ALWAYS be a safe place to do it.

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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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