Climbing Mountains

A few years ago, I posted on this page, trying to be funny of course, about the challenges of putting leggings on a wiggly semi wet child who had just gotten out of the pool.

Because let me tell you, it was not an easy task. It was like running a marathon.

The comments were sweet and funny, mostly telling me how cute my kid was…but of course, one stood out.

The lady said something like…‘I would never dress my kid in leggings. He looks ridiculous (only she said another R-word) and I would be embarrassed.

That comment has stuck with me over the years. Mostly because I have never once thought to care about the clothes a child chooses to wear. Or honestly what anyone wears for that matter. Wear what you want to wear people.

I remember exactly where I was when I read her comment. It was one of the first times I read the R-word in relation my son.

We were staying in a hotel. We were managing the chaos of having a child who loves to run, with no sense of danger, near a pool. I remember we had to put a dresser in front of the hotel door when we slept so he wouldn’t sneak out while we were sleeping.

It was a trying time.

I remember panning my eyes from my phone screen to my son and back again as her words sunk in.

Embarrassed? Why would I be embarrassed? My son was so happy. And content. And comfortable.

I studied him again looking for what I was missing. Cooper was 6. His blonde hair was still wet. His front tooth was missing. He wore a blue Thomas the train shirt and dark navy leggings with boats on them. He loved those leggings. We still have them. They are tucked away in his keepsake box for when he’s older.

I was suddenly so angry with that woman. It’s bizarre to me how people care about certain things. And maybe I used to care too…before autism. Before my eyes were opened to a little boy who feels and hears and sees and smells differently.

Jeans are like torture to him. Socks that bunch bring tears to his eyes. Change is absolutely terrifying.

New shirts…not a chance. Hats, mittens, boots…no thank you. Sandals…not going to happen mom.

We dreaded season changes. And worked very hard to find clothes he would wear in bigger sizes as he grew.

And I get it to an extent. I am 37 and I don’t like the way right jeans feel on my stomach. I can’t even imagine what it feels like to him.

I also can’t imagine fighting him on something so silly. Leggings? Good grief. We have bigger problems than leggings.

Yesterday, I bought my sweet boy a new spring jacket. He beamed with pride as he twirled around for us this morning. Watching him try something new so effortlessly was amazing.

I know I’ve said it before. It’s a wonderful thing to watch a person accomplish climbing such mountains on a daily basis knowing how hard they are for him to climb.

Looking good kid.

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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