We've turned a big corner in the development world.
After Benjamin’s swimming lesson on Thursday, the last one of this session, I got into the pool with him for a while. A lifeguard asked us if we would mind playing with this other kid. The “other kid” was Darell, who, unlike all the other kids in the family pool, looked to be about 14. He had some obvious differences, looked forlorn, and needed to have some fun. I invited him to join us in Ben’s game of jumping into the pool.
He did join us, and pretty soon all the kids in the pool joined us, having a total blast, although Darell’s splashes were the biggest of all. Ben really loved it, and, after we got out of the pool and showered and he was in his jammies, he insisted on walking back into the pool room and saying good bye to his new friend. Darell gave him a hearty high five, and we said good bye. Ben was disappointed he had to get into his jammies, because that's "for little kids." No more home-from-the-Y-in-jammies.
Yesterday, after dinner, we went back to the Y. Ben’s new pal was there, and once again we all played. Benjamin kept swimming away from me to play with the kids. He barely noticed I was there. He got out of the pool to go pee all by himself, and came back with his swim trunks actually pulled up all the way.
When we got home, he got himself into his jammies, because we had taken a clean set of clothes to the Y for apres swim wear. This morning, he dressed himself completely.
Today, he has been outside most of the day, playing with his friends, coming back once in a while. He has learned that we are number 112, and picks the number out of the line of buzzers outside, opening the outside door when I buzz him in. Just a moment ago he came back in to get his hooded vest, and his Obi Wan light saber, to play jedi with a new friend, Evan.
I just heard him give away his ride-on excavator, a prized possession since his auntie gave it to him three years ago. He gave it our neighbor, three year old August, because "I'm too big for it now."
Unlike the first few steps he took when he learned to walk, he hasn’t even looked back to see if I am there.