The Questions They Ask Me

The Questions They Ask Me…See these two boys? They are almost exactly 2 years apart. Cooper is 10 and Sawyer is 8. They are like night and day when it comes to most things.

My 8 year old asks me the most amazing questions. We have to be alone though. Sometimes he will ask me if his dad is around, but he will say, ‘Mom, can I tell you a whisper?’ But usually he prefers to ask when we are alone in the car or snuggling in bed.

How is that baby going to come out of you?

Have you seen my abs lately?

Is it still a swear if you spell it?

Will you be waiting for me in heaven when I die?

Does Cooper understand that I am growing up?

And my favorite, just yesterday…

‘Mom, I have to tell you something. It’s really serious. Wait, I can’t tell you. Oh, but I want too. Should I? Should I tell you mom? I don’t want you to be sad…’

‘You can tell me anything Sawyer.’

‘Mom, I’m in love. I love a girl. I know you love me and I love you, but I really love her too. And when I’m with her, I can barely talk. The words don’t come out. It’s so embarrassing mom. Why do the words get stuck?’

I did everything I could to hold back the giggles as his questions about love continued.

‘Is that the way you feel about dad? Do your words get stuck too?’

Those question I tell you. They are amazing.

This morning, around 4 am (thank you pregnancy insomnia) I found myself thinking about my older son. And all of the questions he has never asked me. He must have them. Are they stuck inside? Are they on the tip of his tongue waiting to come out?

When Cooper was diagnosed with autism at age 3, it never occurred to me that he may never talk. The thought never once crossed my mind.

Ten years in, and I rarely grieve the words. In fact, I honestly rarely even think about them. Because I’ve grown. I’ve accepted. And he is exactly who he is supposed to be. But sometimes, the wonder creeps in.

This morning, before the world woke up, Cooper got my attention, and turned his iPad towards me to show me the screen.

Four cartoon characters, dressed as astronauts, ready to rocket into space. He taps the screen and then his chest.

‘Do you want to go to space Cooper?’

And the most joyful squeal erupts from my quiet boy.

‘Where else do you want to go?’

For the next 5 minutes, he showed me scenes from his favorite shows.

He asked to hit a baseball off the tee with Curious George. Ride a polar bear through the Antarctic. And feed an elephant a snack in Africa.

I’ve been smiling all day at his requests. At his version of the world. No, he has never asked me a question verbally. And he may never. But I am pretty sure he doesn’t need them. He doesn’t need words. It was or is me that needs them. It’s important to be reminded of that.

I know my 8-year-olds magic is going to wear off. He will grow up and move on and out.

But Cooper, I get to hold on for longer and see dreams of dinosaurs and fire trucks unfold.

How lucky am I to get both worlds….

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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