Your First Real Haircut

Last night was a big night for us kid. One that I honestly thought may never happen.

A haircut. A real hair cut.

See, mama has been cutting your hair for 8 long years. And yes, I apologize for all of the terrible cuts I gave you. But I had to teach myself. And I’ll describe it as trying to shave a grizzly bear at times.

You are strong kid. You didn’t make it easy. We both cried over the years. I’ve taken a kick to the stomach and a head to the jaw. But we made it through. You and I. Just like we always do.

And those haircuts…well they were a metaphor for a lot of things in life.

So, watching you have success last night meant everything to me.

I spent twenty minutes kneeled down in front of you, looking up, and holding your hands to my face. I do that to calm you. We take deep breaths together. In and out. I use my body to shield your legs.


I sang to you. And counted to ten at least 50 times. I set the timer. And found Pete the Cat on the Kindle. I offered you a cookie. And whispered good job dozens of times.

And you made it through. This was our equivalent to being the valedictorian, hitting a grand slam, and graduating from high school all in one. Actually, it’s more than that. To me at least. Because we worked so hard to achieve it.

The last 9 years haven’t been easy. You know that. I know that. For so many years everything was a struggle. We lived hard. But we didn’t give up Cooper. We kept moving forward. Crawling. Inching along really.

I want to make a few promises to you as we go on son. Because we have a lot of years to shatter the stigmas around autism. And you are just the kid to do it. With a little help from your old mom.

I will carry you on my back when you can’t walk yourself.

I will hold your hands to my face when you feel the need to hit your own head.

I will sit on the ground with you when you need a break.

I will hold your body tight when you can’t control it. I will take a kick and hit if it means you won’t hurt yourself.

I will run, chase, dance, twirl and roll on the ground with you when sitting just won’t do.

I will gasp at every train. I will answer every question. And I will guess every need and want that you have until I figure it out.

I will deflect every mean stare. I will educate those who don’t understand. And I will defend when needed too.

I will demand you have a seat at every table and will fight for your right for inclusion. You will not miss one opportunity kid because you have autism. In fact, I will create them for you.

I will speak for you until you find your own voice. I will translate for you when the words just won’t come.

I will walk beside you, holding your hand forever. And if there ever comes a day when you want to walk ahead of me…well kid, I’ll let you go. I’ll let you lead. And I’ll walk behind you until my dying day. You will never be alone.

I will give you YOUR best life.

When you got your diagnosis I was told all the things you’d never do. That we would never do. I was told it would be hard. And that we would have to fight for everything.

They weren’t wrong. But the hard isn’t everything either.

Buried within the hard is the joy. The beauty that comes from perseverance.

You will have victories Cooper. Unbelievable victories. And they will make every second of the hard worth it.

Thank you kid for never giving up on me.

I promise you this. I will never give up on you either.

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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 to 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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