Cooper gets done with school at 4:30 M-F. I pick him up every day. I chose to do this because the thought of him being on a van in rush hour traffic with a stranger as a nonverbal autistic child actually put me in the fetal position on my bed. I can deal with him riding the bus ‘to’ school but not both.
So, I pick him up.
I usually get there about 4:10 because there are 7 parking spots for 100 people. Ok, I am exaggerating a bit but not by much. The other reason I get there early is because I can watch Cooper on the playground. I get a glimpse into his day. I almost feel like I am spying in a way. I have to park farther away from the playground because the first time I did this the little stinker saw me instantly. He ran up to every teacher, grabbed there arm and pointed at my truck. He’s observant that one.
So, now I hide.
I watch for a long time. Sometimes I laugh at how cute he is. Sometimes I cry. I always feel a little bit sad…but that’s normal. Sometimes I want to take him and go home. And sometimes I want to leave ALONE and never come back.
Some days I think about crazy things. I think about how he will probably never get married. And he probably won’t ever have babies. And I laugh because I am crazy. He is 3. But ask any other mom with a special needs kiddo and I bet they have had the same exact thought.
And then I go inside and walk the long hallway to grab him. And every single day I thank God that he is as advanced as he is.
Some days I look at Cooper’s school and I see hope and happiness. I see amazing teachers and kids being helped.
But some days, I only see sad parent’s like me. And kids that need so much help. And it scares the ever living shit out of me.
And then I see Cooper. And every single day he runs to me like he hasn’t just seen me 8 hours ago.
It’s the innocence. I can’t even put it into words.
Cooper is doing amazing in school…or so I am told. I get asked from friends and family and even complete strangers how Cooper is doing in school. And I don’t know what to say. And I swear people think I am an idiot. I talk to his teacher for 30 seconds a day and every day he gets an amazing review. He is sweet and silly…makes amazing eye contact…is engaged….had a great day, etc. Um…..so….ok I guess.
What I try to tell people is I don’t know what they are measuring his great day against. He obviously isn’t having a NT child day. They aren’t working on the alphabet or numbers or colors. At least I don’t think they are. They are working on smiling and making eye contact. Socialization. Basic skills. So, maybe in that respect Cooper is a star. I guess.
As you can tell I just don’t know.
But what I do know is that Cooper transitioned to a new city, new house and school like a boss. He just seems to go the flow. 3 weeks ago he had never been in a classroom, screamed at ALL therapy and had never been alone with anyone besides mom/dad/family/daycare.
What else do I know.
I brought Cooper into a gas station yesterday and he was able to walk on his own and hold my hand. And grab Cheetos and put them on the counter to pay.
He loves going in the hot tub and no longer needs to be held while in there. He is mature and tall enough to stand on his own and not drowned. (Yes, we are right next to him the whole time.)
I know that every morning he wakes up he absolutely can’t wait to get hugs and kisses from me. And sometimes I’ll feel like I am too busy to get on the floor and hold him. And I need to slow down and love him constantly. This morning he sat on the floor with me while I got ready. I consider myself to be pretty lucky in that respect.
We meet with his pshychologist in a week or so and then hopefully I can find out more details.