You Be You

My sweet boy,

I used to get so upset when people stared at you. Mad. Angry. Not at you of course but at that world.

You’d be flapping. Or making happy noises. Screeches. Grunts. High pitched screams.

One second you’d be on the floor and the next running only to drop to the ground, roll, laugh and pat the ground. Or you’d be melting down. Screaming. Either way it almost sounds the same. Loud.

I’d look around. Make eye contact. And look away. I’d think in my head, stop. Stop Cooper. Stop drawing attention to yourself. To us. Everyone knows.

But it’s not for reasons you think. I wasn’t embarrassed. I wasn’t ashamed. I was scared. I was nervous. I worried they were judging you. Labeling you as bad. Or delayed.

They’d know you were different. And what if they laughed. What if they mocked. What if they bullied. I was so scared of different.

I’m not so scared anymore.

Today I sat on the ground with you in the middle of a path to a lighthouse. We were surrounded by hundreds of people. You were struggling. Tired. Hot. Covering your ears. Hitting your head.

So I sat down. I held your hands. I put them to my cheeks. And we counted to ten.

1, 2, 3, deep breath. By 10 I helped you up. And we were off. The crowds parted as we walked through.

I used to care what people thought about us. Not anymore. Because what these people didn’t know is I prayed for this. We walked, as a family, for an hour. To a lighthouse, through a museum, and to an ice cream shop. I never thought I’d see the day.

I promise you kid I will sit with you and deflect every stare for the rest of my life.

You be different.

You be loud.

You be you.

And I’ll be right next to you.

Never once asking you to change. I promise.

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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