Thank You for Showing Up

I often wonder if people know the impact they have on someone’s life.

If when they got up that morning did they know they were going to make a difference today.

I’m guessing not. Most people just do what they do and don’t give it a second thought.

Last night we had our neighborhood Night to Unite. It’s a once a year event that encourages you to meet your neighbors and local law enforcement and first responders.

In the past it’s been challenging for us to go. Especially as a family.

Our oldest is autistic and events like those are very ‘peopley’ and loud and there is a lot of standing around and waiting. They are also outside which is very dangerous for little humans who don’t understand danger.

So we’ve often stayed back.

Or split our family up, some attending and some staying back. But this year, well, there was a fire truck.

And our son Cooper, he adores fire trucks. So much so that we talk about them every single day.

But in the past, whenever he has the chance to see one up close, his anxiety swoops in and steals his joy.

Yesterday morning at 4 am we talked about fire trucks. At 6 am we started the timer counting down the minutes until they arrived. At 8 am we made a list about our day.

We looked at the calendar a zillion times.

He waited by the door. He ran outside when it wasn’t locked.

He pointed. He made the sound of a fire truck. He watched shows about fire trucks. You get the picture here.

He stood on the edge of his anxiety all day.

And then. Then it was time. The fire truck pulled in.

And the little boy who would typically run and hide in someone’s garage was the first one to climb into the truck.

I watched his anxiety evaporate as he took a deep breath.

He made it. You could see it in his face. The weight of his worry was gone.

He even got to try on a hat.

The firemen had no idea. None whatsoever. That a little boy had been waiting for them since 4 am.

And that he took a hundred pictures of their truck and his brothers shooting the hose and trying on the gear. And that those photos are his new favorite things.

It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. The impact you can have on a life just by showing up.

A huge thank you to the Cottage Grove Minnesota Fire-EMS Department for showing up. We appreciate you so much.

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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