Nurturing the Heart of my Middle Child

Swenson kids 23
My second son has been having some big feelings lately.

He is 10 years old and sandwiched in between three very big personalities.

I think sometimes it can be lonely to be the one in the middle.

His dad and I are working very hard to make sure he knows how magnificent and treasured he is.

Last night a movie on the couch with popcorn and snuggles. This morning a doughnut date, just the two of us.

And lots of conversation. Which is the best part in my opinion. I love hearing his thoughts and answering his questions.

This morning we talked about hockey and school and how chocolate long johns are the best.

He asked why Grandpa is sick and what to do when someone says something mean to him on the bus.

He asked about baby sister and if he can someday have a bedroom in the basement.

And then…out of the blue…

‘Mama, Cooper feels safe to me. I leave a lot more than him…for hockey and to hang with my friends. But I know he will be here waiting for me. He’s like my…home. Does that make sense?’

‘Yes Sawyer, it does. Cooper is home to me too.’

‘During the day I protect him. I’m like the big brother…sorta. I know I’ll never be older than him. Not really. But I think I sorta am the older brother. But I know he will always be waiting for me. He is home.’

When I think about gifts, truly beautiful gifts, I think about the boy in the middle. In every family photo, he’s always the center. I can’t wait to see who he becomes.

Cooper may be home. But Sawyer is the center.

There’s just something magical there.

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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