As Your Mum, I am Learning your Language


Sometimes I look at you in apprehension…

I realize I am a foreign object…a lost immigrant to a new country in your presence. I look at where you look…to that corner where the sun hits…and I don’t see what you see. I do not hear what you hear and I only feel what I feel which sitting next to you can feel like so very little.

It used to bother me, scare me and now I eat my croissant curiously searching for the light you are swimming in.

In your heart you speak a different language and I’m your mum, I am learning your language.

I know that you see more and that you hear more and I want to hold you…to inch closer and tip toe around you and into your beautiful world. I haven’t found the right crack, the right place, the right tear in the seam where I can crawl in.

Take me there. Show me where I need to go.

I know there are birds and flowers, mermaids, twirling staircases and colorful houses. Are we there too? Your brother and I?

Will you take us with you?

Sometimes I feel like only you can let me in because I know I can’t…you reach out your hand and give me little pieces of shells, sea glass and you look deep into my eyes only when you’re ready.

Where is the key?

Your hands squeeze my face close to yours and I wait for something. Those walnut brown eyes of yours.

Tell me.

I’ve asked questions and you’ve only ever answered them when you wanted and only ever in the way you liked. You tell me things with your body. You soar and crawl and climb through our beige house and I remember what it meant when you said you wanted special ears like Danny has, the boy who is deaf.

You paint rainbows.

You catch me in the strangest moments and tell me things that are so profound.

Of course, I ask you for more but your little feet…well, they have a way of fluttering just an inch above the wood floor where when I am lucky I just catch a glimpse of your shadow.

My world is absurd. When I rush you, you are only trying to point out the present to me.

You are smarter than anyone I know.

Sometimes it feels awfully lonely sitting in this silent pond waiting for a leaf to climb on when you buzz fast above us. I’ve stopped interrupting and now I listen in awe as I would’ve to an old fairytale my grandmother might have told me when I was your age.

You slow down. Your whole world is slow motion and I’ve never met someone who loves the world as much as you do. It’s like you find special in everything and everyone.

You paint a contrast and the more the people in suits and clipboards try and fit you into our world the more I realize…as you spin and you laugh, that we want to spin with you! I want to jump on the couch. I want to throw rocks into puddles- climbs through blankets and lay in the grass with you.

I want to soar with you.

When I show you my fear or I push you too hard it’s because you see things differently and I am trying my best to see it too. I’m trying to speak your language.

You keep being you and we will join you.

Written by, Wendy Wyler

Wendy has a MFA in Creative Writing, a Bachelor in Psychology and has a girl and boy on the spectrum. She works for Birth to Three and as a paraprofessional in the school system. You can follow her on Facebook at and her blog, Girl in the Shrubs.

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. Come join our supporter group as well! Click HERE.

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Kate Swenson

Kate Swenson lives in Minnesota with her husband Jamie, and four children, Cooper, Sawyer, Harbor and Wynnie. Kate launched Finding Cooper's Voice from her couch while her now 11-year-old son Cooper was being diagnosed with autism. Back then it was a place to write. Today it is a living, thriving community of people who want to not only advocate for autism, but also make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities and their families. Her first book, Forever Boy, will be released, April 5, 2022.

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