It can be hard to see change in our children when we are up close and parenting, but things seem a little different around here. Summer has been close quarters in our family, with road trips and camping, but I know that this was a good summer for both of my kids.
Just as school was rounding out, Jack started in a new classroom. New routines, new classmates, new aides, I worried that his transition would be difficult, but he only came home happier and standing up straighter, and summer school was a perfect way to get used to all that new before he starts back at school this week. I think he's looking forward to going back.
He started and ended his summer with camp, a place where he has always gaind new skills in a quick time frame. His counselor noticed a difference in just a few days that he had increased patience during meals, and learned to gently tap her hand for more of what he wanted. At home yesterday he held a single finger up in the air in front of his mouth to indicate "just a moment, I'm not done." Providing us with more communication cues will make us better aides, and make things so much less frustrating for him.
And he is spending more time 'with' us, with me, and his dad, and sister. He's been coming into our bed in the morning, a ritual that his younger sibling still enjoys, and he's lingering on the couch with us after dinner, especialy if we switch to MythBusters or his dad's favorite car show. He's cuddlling up a little bit more, letting us get physically closer, staying still for a a kiss on the shoulder from his sister, leaning in to an arm thrown around his shoulder by a grandparent. At an age when most young boys begin to shrug off hugs and kisses from their parents, I think Jack is just getting warmed up.
It seems his coordination is better, he can stand on one leg a moment longer so we can get a shoe on his other foot, and he's shimmying into his clothes easier. He can scoot over in a booth with ease, and back up a few steps. He is using leverage to get in and out of the car that is higher off the ground, and ducking under things to play in the back yard.
He's showing more preference, or at least he's answering when I offer him choices: chocolate or vanilla, red shirt or orange shirt, stay in the living room or go to bed. It makes me so happy to think we might be closer to hearing his needs. I am thrilled when he and his sister 'talk' in the back seat. She asks him questions and he touches her hand to choose the answer.
I'm not sure that all of this happened over the summer, but with all of the sunshine, and family, and blue skies, and happy, and music, and wonderful times we've had, I think it's possible. Cheers to summer, and to change.