A Brave Day

Coopers 15

Let me tell you about a boy.

A boy who at eleven years old shows more bravery than most adults I know.

But his bravery looks different so most overlook it.

He has very few words. Not much for conversation. But his eyes…they tell a story.

If you listen to him. Patiently. If you don’t rush him. And wait. He will tell you. If you don’t talk over him. Or speak for him.

He will tell you how he hears things louder than you. And smells the faintest smells. And sees colors far brighter than most.

He feels the smoothness of the floor on his feet. And the scratchy fabric of a couch. He knows when it’s going to rain. He adores when the snow falls.

And if he turns his ear into the wind he hears things that you and I cannot. He loves the wind. He even smells like it. Like he’s just climbed the biggest mountain.

We had a party today. A neighborhood party. It’s taken us nearly eleven years to figure out that for him to be successful…for our family to be successful…we need to host.

The party started at 1 pm. He woke me up at 4:30 am this morning. Excited. Using his finger to tell me how many hours until the party started.

Eventually we set a timer. He was just too excited and needed to see the numbers counting down.

He swam.
He danced.
He hugged.
He high fived.

He sat amidst a crowd of people at a table. The noise not bothering him. The chaos making him smile.

Today was the happiest I have ever seen my son. In fact, at one point, my not so emotional husband looked at me with tears in his eyes and said…‘I think this might be the best day of Cooper’s life.’

And then he watched fireworks from a window. He covered his ears. And squinted his eyes. And held my hand.

He’s never watched the fireworks from a window before. But see, he’s been preparing for months. Practicing on YouTube. He clapped and cheered and hid and ran and repeated.

It was a big day for him. A brave day.

He even picked out his Fourth of July pants when he got dressed this morning.

He knew.

Today was his happiest day. Ever.

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.

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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1 Comment

  1. Michelle Blair on July 12, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    My daughter, she needed this outlet . To know she is not alone in her walk with a child recently diagnosed with autism. I started following you after my son passed in 2017 . Looking back , it was not by happenstance. Little did I know my first grandchild would be diagnosed with autism in 2022.

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