I Wonder with Excitement

When my son Cooper was first diagnosed with autism, and in the beginning years that followed, I’d spend a lot of time secretly wondering what our relationship would be like.

I was told he would never be able to talk. Or live independently. And a whole lot of other things as well.

And I’d wonder. And worry.

Would we ever have a conversation?

Would we ever go grab dinner together at a restaurant?

Go to his first concert?

And so on.

I’d wonder while driving and studying him in the rear view mirror, dancing on his seat to the music playing in his head.

I’d worry at 3 am when he’d wake me up by turning all the lights on and putting my glasses upside down on my face tell me it’s time to get up mon.

I’d wonder when he would have an amazing breakthrough.

I’d worry when I’d see what other kids his age were doing.

You get the picture.

Cooper is ten years old now. In just a few months he will be 11. A tween. He wants a big birthday party and for me to order 3 Thomas the Train VHS tapes he found in an old train catalogue. He doesn’t understand that the order form is from 2002.

Anyhow, Cooper has taught me that two people can have a whole conversation without words. And that I love you does not need to be said out loud because it can be felt and seen.

Last night, my ten year old touched my arm gently. He does this when he really wants my attention. I know what he is going to show me is going to be special. It’s going to be more than a scream for a snack or an airplane in the sky because it’s gentle and inquisitive.

He showed me his iPad.

The screen was paused on an episode of Dora the Explorer.

Dora and her trusty sidekick Boots, a silly monkey.

Cooper touched my cheek. Pointed to Dora on the screen. And then tapped my chest.

And smiled the biggest smiled while he waited for me to acknowledge.

‘Am I Dora buddy?’

He shoved one finger up in the air with a cheerful grunt.

Then he points to Boots and then taps himself on the chest.

By this point I’m giggling.

‘Are you Boots?!?’

Another happy grunt, this one more animated.

Then gently he grabs my hand while pressing play.

‘You are my very best friend Boots,’ says the silly monkey.

And then my son hugged me. An all in hug.

He went onto show me how Dora and Boots go to a waterfall and see rocks covered in turtles.

I could see the love in his eyes as he and I, and Dora and Boots, went on an adventure.

I love you does not need to be said.

Friendships do not need words.

Communication does not have to be verbal.

When I think about the future I used to be really scared. And worried.

And while parts of that will never go away, because he is my love and so very precious, our relationship is not something I worry about.

Instead, I wonder with excitement of all the things he is going to share with me.

Now I’m off to hunt for 3 VHS tapes. And a VHS player.

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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