We Pour Love Into Them

boys 2

This morning I was sitting on the couch drinking my coffee, soaking up some quiet time before my two littles woke up when my 3 year old came wandering in.

He was dragging his blue blanket, the taggies in his hand. His hair was mussed, creases from his pillow still on his cheeks.

He saw me, smiled, and immediately climbed up me and the chair and wiggled his little body next to me to make room.

This is how every day starts. We snuggle. At least once he will whisper ‘I love you mama’ into my ear. He will also tell me about his dreams and dinosaurs and what he wants for breakfast.

And I will smell him and put my face in his course hair and squeeze him tight.

Before my first cup of coffee is gone I will have Cooper at my feet, Sawyer to my right, and a baby nursing.

It’s a lot. And it’s wonderful. Of course some mornings I long for 2 minutes to sit untouched but honestly, I really do love to start my mornings in this way.

I tell my kids I love them a dozen times a day. I hug them. I kiss them. I ask for snuggles on the couch.

My husband is the same way with them.

We pour love into our kids fiercely.

That is how we were raised so for us, it’s very natural.

I will never forget the first time I learned that not all parents are affectionate in that way. I went home with my college boyfriend to meet his parents. We visited and chatted and when it was time to go we got up and said goodbye and left.

I was a bit confused and asked him about it. He told me that he had never hugged his mom or dad. Or heard ‘I love you.’

I was shocked. I didn’t know that was possible.

This morning I pondered for a while why I show so much love to my kids.

It’s not for me. I know they love me. I have no doubt. I am the kisser of the boo-boos and the one who gets the school artwork and the lap that is always filled.

I say it for them. I say it and show it so they know they are loved. And treasured. And that I think they are absolutely wonderful. I want them to know that.

All of my kids.

My son Cooper is 11. He has never said I love you. Not with words or with his speech device. Not umprompted at least.

And that’s ok. Because I know. It used to make me really sad and now, well, I listen with more than my ears. I watch him at my feet and how he waits for me at the window to come home. I know he loves me. But I need him to know too.

So I tell him. And I show him. A dozen times a day. Just like I do with his siblings. I need him to know that he is magnificent.

I will pour so much love into my children so they know. And so they will in turn pour it into the world.

That’s our job as parents.

Love our kids.

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. Follow us on FacebookInstagram, and join our supporter page, Coop’s Troops, for an amazing community full of support and understanding.

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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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