We Don’t Blend In

We don’t blend in, this kid and me.

Not that we ever did, but I’ll admit when he was smaller it was easier.

We got by with the graces people bestow on toddlers and energetic kindergarteners.

But 9. Well, 9 is a whole different story.

Nine is four feet, four inches tall.

Nine is feet almost as big as mine.

Nine is big and loud and noticeable.

I used to care a lot when people stared at my son. At us. I would start to sweat and my face would turn red.

See, I wanted to blend in. I wanted to live in my own safe place, quiet, and easy.

I didn’t like standing out. Speaking out doesn’t come naturally to me. My skin hasn’t always been thick. My purpose hasn’t always been so obvious.

But my kid changed all that. He threw me into a world I knew nothing about. One that didn’t make any sense to me. One that had me wondering what way was up.

One I wanted to escape from at times.

Why? Because I was scared. Standing out put us in the spotlight. Front and center and open to scrutiny.

But age 9. Oh, age 9. Beautiful age 9. My eyes were finally opened to the possibility that existed in the in-between world.

This kid.

He wasn’t born to blend it. He wasn’t born to sit quietly and watch the world. He makes his presence known. That’s my boy.

When he’s happy he shows it. He will hug and dance and clap and scream with joy. It’s infectious I tell ya.

He will wave to strangers with huge smiles.

He will give high fives too, running from person to person, clumsily swatting at their hands.

He will sit when he’s tired. Anywhere. When he’s done he’s done. He can also sleep anywhere too. Especially if he’s bored with you. Or to avoid work. It’s a gift I tell you.

His tears flow faster than most. And they are loud. But they also stop just as fast.

His anger, well, we are working on that one the most.

He can make any space his own too. He will spread out and organize his treasures in the most fascinating way.

I learned last year if he is struggling that it makes a big difference when I join his world. Instead of rushing him through we take a break. We leave this busy world and go to his.

I sit with him. Or lie with him. On the floor. In the middle of the pediatrician’s office or the grocery store. It’s like a reset for him.

I can’t remember the last time we blended in. This kid and me. But I do remember the last time I cared.

And that’s the real test parents. The real journey. Becoming the parent your child needs. Work towards that. I swear you’ll never care about blending in again.

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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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