Part of something
C has always felt very much a part of things. While I suspect there have been moments where he’s felt left out, I think most of the time he feels right in the middle of it all, even when he really is not. Yet I’m thrilled to report that this year, he actually does seem very much a part of things. He still struggles; there are days when he tells me he sat alone at lunch because he wanted to, and days when I observe him at recess while he wanders around the playground by himself. But for the first time in C’s entire life, I feel as though he might just make it through okay.
On the heels of doing some data collection at recess where C had 0, count them: 0, productive interactions with other children, I have also seen him respond and relate to other kids in a way I never have before. I listened to him carry on a true back and forth conversation with two of his classmates at lunch the other day, and tonight I had to nag him to get off the phone with a friend simply because he was talking far too long. He’s had playdates at our house nearly every weekend, with several different kids. Even bigger, he seems to be branching out, somewhat successfully, from the safety of girls to trying to make it in the boys’ world.
All of this causes me to wonder whether C is growing up or growing out. Out of his diagnosis, that is. I suspect it’s more growing up, and that all it will take to validate his diagnosis once again is a birthday party or school field day (a haven of insanity that brings all of his challenges forward). After all, I’ve been here before; lulled into complacency and the thought that C’s struggles nowhere near compare to other children who share his same diagnosis. True as that may be, I would no more take away his quirky, interesting personality than I would take away his dimples. C just is who he is – and he’s perfect.
On an aside, please, please, please read this post about a child who needs a family and share it with anyone you know who might care.