The waves lapped against our toes. I could feel Cooper press back, his little legs against mine, but I stood right behind him to prevent him from backing out of the water. We were at the beach. He hates the ocean. But I'm not going to let him. 

His grip on my thumb tightened. 

With each wave washed away, I gently nudged him two steps forward. "One, two" I said making a song out of it. He likes to dance. I was tricking him in to thinking. 

The waves rose 

At Smokey Mountain where he wouldn't let the water touch him for a while but then started having fun. 

I don't know whether I'm doing him a favor, or forcing him out of his comfort zone. Or traumatizing him for life. And I probably won't know until it's too late. But what I do know is this. As a kid with Down syndrome, Cooper is already surrounded by people who are determined to lock him away in a protective bubble. 

As th 

Between his well-meaning teachers who promise to look out for him extra, Cooper is already surrounded by people determined to to a protective bubble. 
I'll be damned if I'll be another one.  

The waves watched out and I heard him yell. He shook

"Oooooh!!!!" he ried. I cou'dnt see his face, so didn't konw if it was a shout of terror or glee. Then, he gripped my thumbs so tight I thought he might cut them off. And he took two steps forward.