To The Mother With Her Adult Son At Thomas The Train


To the mother with her adult son at Thomas the Train:

You had the oldest child here. I’m guessing he was 25. Your son was tall. He was a man. He even towered over you.

I saw him immediately when you arrived. He was practically levitating he was so excited.

It was like he had an aura around him. His joy. It radiated.

He ran in. Loud. Arms a moving. He ran right up to Thomas and started chatting to himself.

Fingers stimming. Head down. Twisting back and forth like my son does.

‘I love trains. Trains are my favorite. I love Thomas. Hi Thomas.’

And that’s all it took. I was drawn to him. To you. I wanted you in my life. I wanted to know everything about you. Your journey.

Photo Credit: Finding Cooper’s Voice

You are me. I am you. And my son is yours. Except 20 years from now.

I want to admit I wasn’t ready to meet you five years ago.

I wouldn’t have seen the beauty in this. I would have been sad.

I would have said to my husband on the drive home…’that’s not Cooper. That won’t be him. It can’t be. Right Jamie.’ I would try and convince myself.

Not anymore. You are now my inspiration. My goal.

I had so many questions. What is he like? Has he always talked? Are you scared? He’s so happy?

I thought about me, years ago. At this exact event. I was scared of autism.

Scared of forever. Scared of bringing an adult man here. Scared of being judged. Scared of the unknown. Scared of being different.

I watched you for a while. Holding his hand. Helping him on the train. Laughing. Smiling. Mothering.

You weren’t sad. You weren’t embarrassed.

Your perpetual big man with the young soul was just fine. Just like Cooper will be.

Thank you for coming here.

Thank you for being out in public. For not hiding severe autism. For showing me my future and how wonderful it can be.

Sincerely, a thankful mother.

This post originally appeared on the blog, Finding Cooper’s Voice


  1. My friend found your post. I remember talking to you and I would love to talk again. Feel free to send me a message on facebook – Jennifer Santema

  2. That’s so sweet and brings me to tears. I am that mom with my son now 26. He is still a beautiful joyful soul most of the time. Still stands at the train crossings to see the real trains pass. Has made friends with several train engineers has collected patches, vest, lanterns spikes etc. He still makes me and so many others around him smile. Just to see his joy! It’s still a joyful but fearful journey. I hope his future includes many more happy days with the public accepting and not judging him. Thank you


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