A Letter to My Little Brother

Hey brother,

I’m hoping that someday I can say this all to you. But there is a chance that I might never be able to…I’m hoping that when you are older you will read this and understand.

I know I confuse you. I’m so loud. I flap my arms. I don’t notice toys. Or play sports. Or like to leave our house. I don’t have any friends. Or really pay any attention to you either. I just like mom and dad.

I don’t play like you. I have never ridden a bike and I don’t care at all about hockey. And I know that really confuses you. But you don’t play like me either.

Sometimes I feel like you look right past me. But I guess I do the same thing to you too. Mom says we seem to live on different planets and that we crash into each every now and then.

You don’t make sense to me Sawyer. I’ve overhead mom saying that she wishes more than anything that we could be friends.

You think I’m loud Sawyer? And that my noises are weird. You should hear what you sound like to me. You make shooting noises and dance to weird music and argue with mom and dad about dinner time. I try to cover my ears. I try to ignore you. But sometimes I can’t.

Sometimes when I get so frustrated I hit you. Never anyone else. You are my safe space though. You are my brother.

I know you tease me sometimes. I know your friends do too. I’m like the annoying little brother…except I’m two years older. I wreck your forts. And smash your Legos. I’m always around when you and your friends are trying to play.

I eat your Nerf Gun Bullets. And follow you around. I like to sit near you and your friends but then I get really nervous, because I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I don’t understand what you are playing so I just laugh and roll and run.

I know that you, mom and dad and Harbor leave once a week to do something. I hear that you go to restaurants. Or go ice skating. I stay at home with Alex. She is my care attendant. Or whatever that means. To me she is just my friend.

I like staying with her. It’s quiet. And we do puzzles and do things that I like to do. We watch Barney and sit in the sunshine in the backyard. There is no pressure. And I like it. I can be myself.

I’m okay with you getting all of mom once a week, brother. I can tell you need it.

I know you think mom loves me the most. Because I take up so much of her time. But she loves you just as much. I see the way she is so proud of everything you do. I can’t do most of the things you do. So I’m glad she has you brother.

When you look back on our relationship I want you to know that you mean so much to me. Even though I don’t show it in the normal way. But I’m hoping that some day, you’ll take notice.

I’m hoping that someday I can learn to say your name. I hope that when you leave for college you will come back and visit me. I hope you know how hard I try to make sense of your confusing world.

I’ve been carrying a picture of us around for seven days now.

I normally only carry pictures of trains and boats. And mom and grandma. I like baby pictures too. But rarely anyone or anything else. And I only carry them for a few moments at a time before I shove them under a couch or behind a bed.

I never seem to get too attached to any one photo which drives mom and dad crazy. You know that.

Mom is the only one who noticed that a picture of you and me is my favorite. I know it confuses her because I don’t really seem to care about spending time with you. Or acknowledge you. But this one makes me feel safe. I like that we are hugging. You are paying attention to me and I’m paying attention to you.

I’ve been sleeping with this photo for a week now. I wish you’d notice. I love how we look so happy together. So calm. We look like friends. You’d never know that we are so different.

If in years to come, I’m still not able to tell you I love you, please know that this is it.

I’m showing you. I’ve been showing you all along.

You are my safe space brother.

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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