You Are My Calm in the Chaos

My son,

Your birthday is in 8 days. You have been counting down since mid December.
You love your birthday. And you love being older.

So much so that you are already telling people you are 11 years old. I lovingly correct you every time, reminding you that you are still my 10 year old. For a few more days at least.

I also threaten you with a potion that will keep you little forever. When you were younger you belived me that it would work. You aren’t scared anymore.

You want to grow up. I want time to stop.

Last night you snuggled into me, shirtless, in shorts, chocolate ice cream still on your mouth.

You went into extensive detail about a video game you love. I had absolutely no idea what you were talking about. But you talked without taking a breath for at least 15 minutes.

I didn’t interrupt you once. It was a rare moment without your brothers. One where I looked at you and saw a teenager.

After you were done convincing me that you want to do chores so you can earn an allowance to buy cool stuff, you grabbed your blue not-so-fuzzy anymore blanket, the one I brought you home from the hospital in, and went up to bed.

When I came up minutes later you asked to sleep with me. I told you no though. Not tonight. Mom was too tired. Your baby sister isn’t sleeping and I just needed five minutes to by myself.

Before I walked out of your room, I paused at the differences from a year ago. A computer. A gaming chair. Books. Hockey trophies. An empty Prime bottle. Axe Body Spray. No toys. No stuffies.

Little boys grow up a little every day. Soon you will be 11. And then 12. And then a teenager. A real one. Not just the one you so desperately want to be.

I’m still going to try and stop time buddy. I can promise you that. Be patient with me when I smell your hair and steal hugs and ask you to run mindless errands with me.

I want more time. With you.

Because you are my calm in the chaos. My constant. You saved me. So much so that I wrote a whole book about you.

When you saw the cover you asked what it was about and I said…’you Sawyer.’

And I need more time with you. I don’t think there could ever be enough.

Love, mom
Ps. Your huge brown eyes are going to break some hearts someday. And you are going to be the best dad. 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. 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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