I Never Needed More Until You

“What do you want?”

I remember as clear as day the moment he asked me that.

I was nineteen. In college. I had a mediocre paying job that I loved, working at an independent video store.

I was out to lunch with my boyfriend and we were chatting about life. He too, was in college, working on a business degree and I was juggling work and my studies to become a teacher.

It was all I had ever wanted, since I was little…to teach. To be surrounded by little children..to help shape their minds and make a difference in this world.

I minored in psychology because I had an intense curiosity on how our minds worked and I always wanted to help people.

So when he asked me, I knew he already understood that about me…what I wanted to be when I grew up, so to speak.

So besides that, knowing what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I added the simplest of answers…

“To be happy.”

“Get married. Have a successful marriage. Have kids.”

I’ll never forget his response.

“What else?”

I remember wondering what he meant by that.

He wanted me to want MORE?

What else is MORE important than happiness, I thought.

Coming from a broken home, a product of trauma, divorce and growing up with an an adulterous, abusive biological father, I felt like having a successful marriage/family was a pretty big goal.

One that many still struggle to achieve these days.

And my relationship before him was full of amazing, typical high school firsts, and yet muddled with horrible ones like my very own experience with domestic violence.

It took me a long five years to even want MORE or better for myself.

So as I sat there, I challenged myself to come up with anything else I may want.

It made me question myself. Were my dreams not big enough? Not bold enough? Should I be aiming for something higher?

And why was he asking? Was he worried I wouldn’t be content with just that?

Did my simplistic dreams not match his own?

As the years went on, he did eventually want MORE.

More time with his friends. More freedom to be young and independent from his parents and the commitment I had thought we were progressing towards.

I guess my “more” remained the same.

And eventually we were at an impasse.

And because of my fear of abandonment, instead of asking for my “more”, I let him go.

My following relationship was another five years of waiting for that “more” until it ended in two pairs of tear filled eyes looking at each other, saying goodbye at my apartment door.

Why was I always so scared of asking for more?

Even the “more” I actually wanted.

I look back now and I realize a few things about myself.

I tended to settle my whole life.

I gave up my dream of teaching and being a psychologist to stay in jobs I was comfortable in. I had two management jobs..ten years in each of them, never really caring about big promotions or a career that paid more money.

I had friends that weren’t really good for me, some were downright toxic.

I stayed in relationships too long.

And before they could leave, I left.

I played it safe I suppose. Avoiding rejection and failure along the way.

I was scared of taking chances or asking for what I truly wanted.

When I turned thirty, I met your dad and he asked me for that simplistic “more” within two months of our first online chat.

Then within a year, we were married and I was expecting your big sister.

And then your brother.

And through my first years of motherhood, I was content to just be that. I worked a part time job to help your dad pay the bills and never really expected more.

I even went back to school to study photography but I felt like it got in the way of me being a good mother. I hated the idea of missing moments because I was stuck in a darkroom.

I never let myself be MORE.

I never dared myself to be anything but a wife or mother.

And then you came along.

Until you, I never cared about more than that simple dream.

Maybe I didn’t think I deserved it or thought I’d fail. A young girl who is verbally abused to believe she’s not enough and hears that she will amount to nothing her entire life tends to not love herself too much.

But when you were diagnosed with Autism, everything changed.

The luxury I had all those years to give in to my fears or be complacent wasn’t something I could afford to have or be anymore.

I could no longer be silent or be scared to ask for more because you needed me to be your voice.

Now everyday I find myself wanting MORE.

More services. More therapies. More help. More funding. More respite.

More people to love you and understand you.

More kindness.

More ways to show you the world and help you feel free.

Before your diagnosis I never needed to be more.

Now I have to be MORE everything.

More patient.

More empathetic.

More loud.

More fierce.

More demanding.

And because of you I became MORE.

A storyteller.

An advocate.

A fighter.

A survivor.

And in some strange and funny way, I realized those other dreams still.

I am a teacher. Together we teach the world about you and others like you with autism and special needs.

And I’m a helper.

Your journey led me to helping others everyday just like me.

You led me to my purpose.

My more.

You brought out my voice.

You made me more than a wife and a mother.

You made me more than a caregiver.


My name is Sheryl St. Aubin. My family resides in sunny, Florida. I have been married to my husband, Matt for fourteen years and I’m a Mama Bird to three beautiful, socially unique, children. While juggling this crazy life, I blog/write at Three Little Birds-Raising Kids On The Autism Spectrum. I attempt to be a tour guide for other parents by sharing our story and trying to raise awareness for our community. I am a proud and active member/leader in the supporter group, Coop’s Troop for Finding Cooper’s Voice. My writing has been featured on Finding Cooper’s Voice, Filter Free Parents, Her View From Home and Love What Matters and Today Parenting. You can follow our journey on Instagram: threelittlebirds321 or on Facebook at Three Little Birds – Raising Kids on the Autism Spectrum.

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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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