A Little Boy Who Waits for Me

Coop Window
I have four kids. They range from 2 to 12 years old.

You can say I am covering a few phases of motherhood all at once.

Diapers and cribs to ‘I do it myself, mama’, to I can’t take my eyes off him for a second, to spelling and math tests, to the smell of a hockey player, to a tween.

There is never a dull moment over here. Or a quiet one either.

Three of my kids love to call me on the phone when I leave the house.
They ask when I’m coming home, tattle on their dad, and ask for a McDonalds happy meal. They call whenever they can.

My oldest, he doesn’t call. He also doesn’t verbally speak.

He communicates with a speech device and his hands and his movies. He has taught me to listen with more than my ears.
If I close my eyes I can go back to the days and nights when I prayed for his words. When I ran entirely on hope. When I blamed myself. Even the exact moment where I gave up on hearing him speak.

Those moments and days and nights are real and valid and part of me. They made me who I am today.
Here is what I will tell you.

My son Cooper, he is 12 years old. And when I leave the house, whether it’s for a quick trip to the store or a longer event, he waits for me.

He makes his way to the picture window facing the driveway and he settles in.

And he waits for me.

He doesn’t call. He doesn’t verbally ask when I’m coming home.

But he waits. Sometimes for as long as it takes.

And when I pull in the driveway, every single time, he is there. Smiling. Waving. And when I finally come in the house, hands usually full, he is always standing there. Greeting me. Eventually leaning in for a hug.

And when I think about that tender hearted young mama that I used to be, the one who begged and bargained and pleaded for his words…well, this is the picture that I wish I could show her.

Because it’s louder than any voice I’ve ever heard.

And really, how lucky am I, to have such love to come home too. And a little boy who waits for me.
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.
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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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