We Felt Weightless

450223190_1057432955741504_2691259988220574096_n
Yesterday, our family went tubing.
I watched my three year old daughter bravely climb in. Then my five year son and 11 year old son.
They squealed with joy and high fived and yelled for dad to go faster.
I couldn’t believe it. I commented how fearless kids can be.
As we circled the boat, my 13 year old son sat next to me. He watched with bright and curious eyes.
He isn’t one to join in. Or always willingly try.
I looked from him to his siblings. And then said….’Cooper and I are next!’
Cooper gasped. And smiled.
The thing with autism, is it often feels like a series of doors shutting.
As if we are standing in a long hallway together. Walking. Hand in hand. The world just outside the doors. We can see glimpses.
We just have to walk out.
But we can’t. He won’t. There is no forcing.
The doors slam. One after another.
There is just sitting. And waiting. Together. Watching all the world go by through the window.
Knowing as a mom, that he’d love it. If he’d just try. If autism could just release its hold for one minute.
Yesterday, a door opened. Just a crack at first.
Dad pulled the tube close to the boat with the rope.
We climbed in.
We pushed off.
The boat started moving.
The door wide open.
We raced around the whole entire lake.
He high fived me.
He cheered.
He clapped.
He squealed with joy.
For a second, it felt like a different world. One with ease and joy and open doors.
We felt weightless.
My son went tubing yesterday.
Avatar photo

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.

Share this post:

Leave a Comment