Expect the Unexpected

As autism parents, I think it’s a steadfast rule to celebrate the little things.

We are always working towards a better tomorrow, better outcomes, better behavior. Taking it one step and one day at a time. Only planning as far into the future as we can manage and controlling what we can.

Praying that all our hard work, encouragement and love gives our kids what they need to succeed.

Well, our lives are fairly, predictable.

I have gotten used to expecting that he wants 2 peanut butter sandwiches for lunch during the week. After daycare and summer school he will want to go swimming in the pool, “snorkel” he says.

A year ago, he finally started wanting to sleep in his own bed
consistently. I, however, am still training myself to sleep alone.

When we go to the theater, he is going to want to wear his headphones and bring his iPad.

The other day, I was blindsided. We were driving to visit grandpa and I am singing in the car, as usual. Out of nowhere, my mind is blown! I look back expecting to see him with his headphones on or giving me a stink eye.

I’m singing P!nk’s version of “A Million Dreams” and I see and hear that he is singing it with me!

My heart melts. My baby who has a hard time communicating his feelings and thoughts into words, was singing with me. I was awe struck.

A week after that, my brother came home to visit and help mom move. After, we went to play basketball and have Jasper practice his hand-eye coordination (dribbling and shooting hoops).

The same song comes on the radio and he is really warbling out the words with me. My heart just swelled and my brother too. Before I knew it, I had tears running down my face, but we were singing, together. He sang
that song beginning to end and I know he likes music, but I have never heard him sing like that.

What I felt in that moment… overwhelmingly proud, astonished, and I wanted to freeze time.

In this moment, it gets me thinking. Jasper might struggle to learn new things and in social situations. Daily, I try to drag out a more complex response to a question than the immediate “yes” response.

There might always be some things that are his Achilles heel, but in some ways his autism is his superpower.

There is no comparison when it comes to my kid, he is hands down my favorite person.

Jasper is going into 3 rd grade (9 years old in Sept.) this year and in some ways he is blossoming more than I’ve ever seen. His creativity is boundless, and spirit is magnificent.

Anyone who interacts with him for real quality time, initially doesn’t know what to expect and ultimately ends up in love with him, like everyone else.

My point in all of this is, I know it’s easy to get comfortable and expect things will stay the same.

However, change is good, and kids are always transforming and developing new interests, surprising us with words or actions. Just when we get a schedule going, they go and alter the game.

Struggle is inevitable, it is part of life. It’s part of what molds and shapes us into the parents we are and the people we are raising them to be.

So expect the unexpected, that’s when some of the most beautiful moments in life happen.

Written by, Christina Enger

Christina Enger is a 35 year old mom who is raising her son, Jasper Enger who is 8 years old. They live in Montevideo, Minnesota.

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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 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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