He Never Gave Up On Me

I have a son.

Three actually.

They are all very different.

My oldest is 9 years old.

His name is Cooper.

He was Cooper from the second I found out I was pregnant. There was no other name.

Although we don’t really call him that anymore.

We call him Snoopy. And Snoops. And Snoopy Joy.

And sometimes even ‘turn it down.’

He is the most complicated, easiest, and interesting person I know.

He doesn’t say much. But yet never, ever stops making noise.

He moves really fast sometimes. And other times, really slow.

He finds it really hard to wait. But seems to have no problem making me wait. He’s funny like that.

He has the ability to completely tune out the world. And as he gets older he is learning the ability to bring people into his magical world.

He will give you a glimpse sometimes. Usually when you least expect it. Or really need it.

You will think you’ve hit the jackpot. Then he will giggle and run away.

You will find yourself wishing for more. Wanting it. Needing it.

But you will have to wait. Patiently.

Because we are on his time.

Most people don’t know him. Or really, honestly, take the time to get to know him.

They think he is rude. Or oblivious. Or not smart.

He is none of those things.

If you are a special person he will know it right away. But he may still make you work for it.

That drives some people crazy. But the good ones, they stick around.

Some people are afraid of him. I assume because of the not talking thing.

He makes other people nervous. I can see it right away. The nervousness.

I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older that people don’t like complicated. Or different.

He makes the really good people curious. And laugh. And want to be better people.

That’s one of my favorite things about him.

He also happens to have autism.

He is autistic.

He is a boy with autism.

I say all three, just so I don’t offend anyone.

Although none of them seem to offend Cooper.

He just likes to be near and to be included.

That’s another amazing thing about him.

He shows you the parts that are worth fighting for. And throwing yourselves to the wolves for. The rest, well, he could care less.

We were told he was autistic when he was 3.5 years old.

Although, he was born with autism. Without a doubt.

He had a mystery about him from day one.

He is exactly who he is supposed to be.

No one else.

When he and I first started out, I thought maybe there was a different little boy in there. One who spoke and threw baseballs and played endless games of Candy Land.

One day it dawned on me how wrong my thinking was.

And some days I still hate myself for it.

But he’s not mad at me.

In fact, Cooper has never been mad at me. Not once.

He’s never told me he hates me or slammed the door in my face or refused to hold my hand in front of his peers.

That’s yet another really amazing thing about it.

He loves. And he knows no hate.

I used to be really, really scared of the future.

I wasn’t sure if I was strong enough to pave the way so this little human could change the world.

I more so just wanted easy. I wanted baseball and camping and public education.

But Cooper changed all that.

He let me know very early on that this wasn’t going to be easy.

He thankfully gave me time to grow into autism.

He let the word hit me like a freight train.

He let me go through all of the emotions.

The pretty ones. The sad ones. The scared and angry ones.

And he let me make a lot of mistakes.

But he never gave up on me.

In fact, he loved me even more.

Parents, when you get scared, sad or even lost, I want you to step back and think about what really matters.

Love. Security. Hope. Joy.

Focus on those things.

And look to your child.

They will show you the way.

I promise.

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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