You are My Best Teacher

Cooper,

Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Our tenth one together.

And while traditionally the child would be saying nice things about the mom, I’m switching it around this year.

Because yesterday I had the most amazing realization. And while I’ve known for a while, yesterday it truly sunk in.

You, my son, have taught me more than any other person on this earth.

You’ve taught me to see…really see. You’ve taught me to listen…not just hear. And you’ve taught me the importance of getting off the beaten path and doing things differently from the rest.

Before you were diagnosed with autism, and years after, I did everything I could to reach you. Or at least I thought I did.

I longed for conversations and games of catch and hugs and kisses and make believe. But it never came. And it hurt. Some days so bad I didn’t know how I would go on. Because I thought that’s how we should interact. A mother and son relationship like all the others.

But no matter what I did I couldn’t get you to communicate or play. I couldn’t reach you.

And I knew it wasn’t you. It was me. I was the failure. Or at least it felt that way.

But then, I realized I was trying to reach you in the ways I ‘thought’ were right. In the ways that I had reached every other person before you.

And it wasn’t working. So I stopped. And I let you teach me.

I started to move with you, at your level. I sat on the ground. I hid under beds. I walked the perimeters.

I stared up at the sky with you and felt the grass on my cheek. I learned how gritty tree trunks feel and how sand feels when it falls through my hands.

I watched your shows. I sang you songs. I lined up bright colored pieces of construction paper and ordered post cards from around the world.

I talked with you about the things you cared about knowing I wouldn’t get a response. And I learned to listen.

And I realized, over the years, that you were telling me things. You were showing me too. I just wasn’t hearing or seeing.

You want to go to outer space. But you are afraid of airplanes. You want to ride an elephant. Penguins are your favorite.

You love to take pictures too. And I learn more from the images you take than I can put into words.

Thank you my sweet boy for teaching me to see. And hear.

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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