Being Social Isn’t As Easy As We Make It Look

I take notice of every body of water now.

Every stream, every river, every pond, and every lake.

I’ll count the 5 gallon buckets that sit unattended in your yard, filled with rain water.

I know exactly where your dogs water bowl is.

I’ll shut your bathroom doors, and make sure you didn’t forget to drain your bath water. 

I see every candle. I panic when we come over and they are lit. I’ll feel badly when I ask you to blow them out, and set them up. 

I pray for doors that jam. The type of door you need to put muscle into opening. Those are the best kind of doors. 

There’s a road outside your house. Sometimes it’s a busy road. Sometimes it’s a dead end road. They scare me just the same. 

Are there woods near by? How deep do they run? 

I notice your burning fireplace. Otto, he notices too. 

I opt for his back pack. It’s the safest choice. The choice that will ease my worries. He has to stay close to me.

I can feel the direction he wants to move in. I can follow him wherever he goes.

I can look away from him for a few minutes, because I know he is there waiting for me at the end of the lead. But that’s not what he wants. 

He wants to run. He wants to climb. He wants to explore what’s beneath your kitchen table. He wants to watch your fireplace burn bright.

He wants to be free like all the other children. He wants to be 3. 

It takes me awhile to adjust. Maybe even longer than him. Definitely longer than him. 

Some days the dangers are too close. I have to keep him near me. I have to know he is safe. His back pack will stay on.

Some of you will secretly judge me. I notice that too.

Some days, most days, I take his back pack off.

I swallow my never ending anxiety, and I allow him to enjoy himself. I laugh with my friends, and smile with my family.

I look at the new thing you bought that week or read a meme you want to show me on Facebook.

I am present. But my mind is always wondering, and my eyes are always watching for him.

Every time I walk out my front door I am choosing memories, over my sanity.

I am choosing you, over my peace of mind. I am choosing him, over me. 

I hope you notice.

Written by, Margaret Edmundson

You can find us on Facebook Holding Otto’s Hand.

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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