Three Extraordinary Boys

I just saw something on Facebook that said I’m not supposed to say my autistic son is resilient or brave or strong.

I’m not supposed to say his siblings are amazing either.

I guess all of that is insulting to a disabled person. And maybe that’s true. I guess I don’t know all of the rules. And I would never want to offend someone.

What I do know is I am a really proud mom.

My first born, he was diagnosed with autism at age 3. At the time, I didn’t understand that it was lifelong. I didn’t realize that the struggles he faced may only get more challenging for him as he aged. And that as his mom, I can only do so much for him.

I can’t carry the weight of his anxiety. I can’t take away the stares from unkind people. I can’t make the world understand him or even see him.

And my ability to keep him safe only stretches so far as he grows up.

So when I see him proudly walk up to his bus, smiling, carrying his treasures, all while knowing that he can’t speak the language or ask for help…I see resilient. I see strong.

Everyday he goes out into a world that doesn’t make sense to him. That wasn’t made for him. To me, that’s the definition of brave.

He has taught me to fight. To speak up and out. All at ten years old.

And his siblings. Good golly they are amazing kids. One buckles his seatbelt. One helps him with his shoes. One told me he will protect his bother from bullies forever. And they wrestle with him. They tease each other. They do what siblings do.

They aren’t amazing for being nice to a disabled person. They are amazing for seeing, learning, accepting, helping, including, and protecting. All of it.

I guess my point is, I am really lucky to know these kids. They are ordinary and yet extraordinary boys. They were given a gift. The gift of sight from a boy named Cooper. I truly believe that. And as they grow, all three will change the world.

On our hike this morning their dad told them not to get dirty. Which lasted for a total of five minutes. These boys cannot stay clean. Puddles, mud, ponds…

Cooper eventually wanted a piggy back ride. His younger brother Sawyer immediately said yes. Down they tumbled. And the little one, he can never pass up a good roll in the mud.

I know Cooper shouldn’t have to be resilient or brave. Which is why we keep talking about autism. We keep teaching and showing and living.

So one day, he doesn’t have to be so resilient.

Until then, they have each other.

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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