The Beauty Of A Complicated Path

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the paths that each of my boys will take as they grow up. Three sons. 9, 7 and 1.

Cooper, my oldest, well, it’s been complicated. So many daycares until we finally couldn’t find one to take him anymore. Then starting in the school district at age three, multiple day programs, IEP meetings, transportation to and from, trusting the world with my tiny, yet mighty, nonverbal, unaware child who could hardly hold up his backpack.

I waved goodbye to a child who didn’t know how to wave back and handed him to an aide, trusting the world with my most precious thing.

Then starting kindergarten, quitting mid-year and then finally finding his center where he’s found success. It took years and years of things not working to find one that did. And maybe that’s just how it goes. Maybe it’s supposed to be hard. I guess I don’t know.

My middle son, well, he went to daycare, preschool and then school. I’d see the teachers at conferences and special occasions. His backpack filled to the brim with art projects and birthday party invites. And my baby seems to be on the same path. It’s just easy. They seem to do what every other kid does. And because of that, the path seems to be uncomplicated.

With Cooper, it’s all been a fight. A fight for inclusion and the best and what’s right for him. A fight for him to have what every other kid just ‘gets.’ I fight for recess and to be with his peers and to attend the musical program.

I’ve fought for people to see him. To truly see him. To see his gifts and his beauty and magic. To see past the hard. To see past the words ‘nonverbal’ and ‘autism.’ To see the possibility. To see what can come when we get off the beaten path. The journey may be longer and more expensive and time consuming and complicated but good golly it’s still amazing.

It’s almost like I’ve fought for people to look past the normality of life and take a chance on the possibility. What a thing to have to fight for as a mother.

It’s been like that ever since his diagnosis, and maybe even before. So many people think that he has nothing to offer the world because he has autism. It makes me livid. I want to scream sometimes, ‘HE WILL SHOW YOU THE WORLD!’ Just look!

As parents of these special children, we have to prove their worth. We have to fight. And if you are like me, you will keep fighting until the day you die. Because we are so lucky to have something to fight this hard for.

Remember that on your hardest days and when the world refuses to see the beauty in your child. And remind yourself, you will never stop fighting. Because they are so worth it.

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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