I’m the Lucky One

I used to lie in bed at night trying to figure out if this will be all okay.

Severe.

Nonverbal.

Autism.

Anxiety.

ADHD.

Long term care. Guardianship.

A whole lotta words. Scary words.

Sometimes I wonder how one little 8 year old boy can have so many descriptors.

What they really mean, when you add them all up, is that you will have challenges that you will have to overcome.

But more importantly, they mean the world isn’t designed for you sweet boy.

You will spend your whole life trying to understand it. And how to function in it.

And I’m learning now that you may never understand it. I call that acceptance.

But the scary part is the world most likely won’t understand you either.

Your simplicity. Your joys. Your struggles.

They will hear the word autism and feel pity. Or fear. They will make their mind up about you from one screech, one flap, one twirl.

And many times my son, they will count you out. They will not see your value. Your purpose.

Because this world values the things people do. Trophies, awards, money, promotions and achievements.

It’s a race really. To do more. And to fit in. Happiness sometimes forgotten.

Here is what I know.

You’ll probably never get a job or win an award. You’ll most likely never cure a disease or become a famous movie star.

But I know this too…

You have experienced more joy in your 8 years than most people have experienced in a lifetime.

I just watched you waddle like a penguin. And then run and slide on your belly like penguins do. You giggled as I watched you. You sure do love penguins.

Then it was balloons.

You screamed in delight as they filled your Kindle screen. Hundreds. Mostly red. You grabbed my face to turn my head, forcing me to look. Then you brought your hand to your mouth and gasped as if it was the most beautiful thing you have ever seen.

I watched you run upstairs screaming ‘Ah-ah-Ah’ (which is your version of Dad) to find your dad to show him too. I’ve never seen you happier boy. You love balloons.

Now you are reading a book about trucks and holding a handful of colored construction paper, laughing every few seconds at something. You look up at me and point to your paper, smiling.

You’d think you won the lottery they way you are smiling.

You are happy sweet boy. So unbelievably happy.

You bring joy to a sometimes dark world. You demand I slow down, dance, and growl like a lion and laugh at balloons and penguins too.

I’m the lucky one. Because I get to know you.

This will be okay. I promise you. Because I know we could have nothing and you would still find the simplest beauty in every part of this world.

Thank you for showing me the way.

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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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