He doesn't ride bikes like most boys his age.
He's at the bottom of his class in grade scores.
It takes hours, sometimes days, for him to complete his chore of cleaning his room because he loses attention easily and has to be given one direction at a time concerning which section or what type of toys he needs to put away next.
I can't understand half of what he says and likewise he doesn't comprehend half of what I say to him.
Calming him down when he gets upset takes longer than the average child because our communication is broken by his delays. But I wouldn't trade my son or one single minute I've been given with him so far in his short life for anyone or anything in this world.
If I could go back in time and somehow stop the toxemia that caused his premature birth, and ultimately some of his delays, I would—but not because I want to change him, but because it would have prevented a month in the NICU hooked-up to machines and being fed through feeding tubes.
You see, despite my son's developmental delays and tough entry into this world, Cooper is everything I dreamed of having in a son and more.
He is creative and imaginative, choosing to play with sticks and rocks over the hundreds of toys he has available to him at home.
He responds strongly to music and likes musicians that really jam and play their own instruments and write their own songs.
His favorite music comes from artists like the Grateful Dead, Hall and Oates, Talking Heads, The Band, and bluegrass groups like Yonder Mountain String Band and Old Crow Medicine Show.
While most kids were dressing as Ninja Turtles and characters from that Disney movie, what's it called again? Cold? Iced? Cool? Oh wait, no Frozen! Yeah that's it.
That movie about two girls who are apparently really cold.
Anyway, while most kids were choosing popular characters like Iron Man and Captain America, my son asked, no begged, to be his most favorite character of all—a Sharknado.
So, of course, we dressed him in a shark costume and wrapped white and silver paper around him and stuck paper lightning bolts and raindrops on to transform him into Cooper the Sharknado for Halloween.
There's no other child in this world that's like my son. Likewise, there's no other mother or father in the world more suited to embrace and take on our son's developmental delays and learning disabilities.
We don't look at his delays and disabilities as setbacks, we view them as part of what makes Cooper so unique and so loved by those who have the chance to get to know him.
As you can tell from the beginning paragraph of this post, there's a lot of things I could ponder and worry over about my son. I'd be lying if I said I never did just that.
But, like with everything else in life, I have learned that in order to be content and happy with what and whom we've been given, we must learn to focus on the things that make them special, instead of worrying about the negative.
When we focus on those good things, we naturally become more thankful for who or what we've given.
And that is what should be our focus as parents at all times, no matter what we and our children are going through.It's really tough to remember the good times when things are really bad, trust me, I know that.
And sometimes, we just need to wallow. But when you grow tired of that and want to regain a positive aspect, just count all the things that make you thankful for your special child.
The product that started it all and changed lives all over the worldFind out more