I spent a good chunk of yesterday thinking about Cooper’s past birthdays. About all the holidays. And Halloweens. God I hate Halloween now. Any event where Cooper has to participate is the devil to me. Expectations kill me. Valentines Day. No valentines for us. And Easter Egg hunts.
And then I thought about the future.
This kid is going to be five. He has no words. He has very little awareness. He is going to lose his first tooth soon. And start kindergarten. And have no idea that any of these things are happening.
I am already dreading the upcoming holidays.
I honestly think each year is a little harder.
And to make it even worse Cooper has been sick for two weeks. He had a cold that turned to strep throat that turned to Stomatitis. And for two weeks he didn’t laugh. Each day he appeared a little worse. He was visibly in pain. Agitated. Distraught. Three trips to the doctor, two strep tests, antibiotics, allergy medicine, and the list goes on. I was kicked and head butted. I have mastered the bear hug. Jamie and I fought him on every single dose of medicine. And mostly, I felt that gut wrenching feeling of knowing that something was really wrong with my kid and I couldn’t fix it. I hate autism.
On Saturday night I sat in the ER waiting room holding (wrestling) a wailing Cooper. During check-in he screamed and rolled on the floor. My new sentence throughout this is, “Cooper is nonverbal and autistic and we need to figure out why he is sick. Please be patient with us.”
I glanced around willing someone to say something to me. I can’t do this at age 10.
Here is a video of Cooper at the doctor. He just can’t stop moving. Once the doctor came in he resorted to rolling on the ground and turning the lights on and off. Sigh.
He appears to be on the mend now. Thank God.
Last night we sat on the floor after his nap and played blocks. I stared at him as I always do. And hugged him close and prayed a silent prayer for him to get better. For him to improve.
And I prayed that I could accept that he may never say ‘Happy Mother’s Day Mama.’ And that I should be thankful that he played blocks with me for 5 minutes. Because honestly, that is a new skill. We built a tower and he knocked it down. And he laughed from his belly as I tickled him.
I sometimes whisper in his ear and beg for him to talk. I will tickle him and whisper, “I love you Super Cooper…say something to me. Anything. Please.” It’s desperate. Trust me. I know.
So, yes, Mother’s Day is tough. But no different than any other day.
I stood in line at Panera grabbing a salad last night. There was a woman behind me talking to her two children. I would say they were both under 5. They were so visibly excited to pick out a treat. They could not stop talking about all the different options. They were shouting and laughing and fighting over who was going to have what. And the mom had to calm them down on numerous occasions. She was visibly agitated by their excitement and how loud they were. Which I get. No judgment here.
Such a simple exchange though. And one that is taken for granted.
Her kids were excited. They wanted to go to a restaurant with their mom. They wanted a treat. They wanted to pick it out themselves. They wanted to sit and eat it with her.
I’ve never done any of these things with Cooper. Not once. And I might never.
But hey, I did play blocks with my kid for 5 minutes. Be thankful for what you have I guess.