We have Crystal here, today. We don't know her family well, but reach out now and again. Her mom died, last year, and I knew her only briefly as Belac's class mom. And here is how I know we have come a long way. Just a couple of years ago, I would be hovering over Belac and another kid, trying to keep them each happy, engaged with each other and in just the right way. But today I hear him showing Crystal his movies and things sound fine. I hear her chattering next to him and playing with the dog, not always that interested but holding her own. She now has an idea to break a dog treat into a million pieces and make an obstacle course for the dog. It's gotten Belac's attention and they're now doing something she wants to do. No amount of meddling by me could have produced such a beautiful interaction and I understand the value of backing off.
Probably the most significant development, recently, is that Belac has found a passion that he wants to share with other people. This interest has taught him so much about interacting with others. It also means that I don't need to meddle to the same degree as before....
In an hour, we are going to the pond where we are meeting with other kids and their running mothers. I know what I will see there. Belac, out and enjoying himself, but running back and forth on the periphery of the playground while everyone else is engaged in some game. Running away from kids at times in a game of tag but everyone having to egg him on if he's ever 'it' to sustain and remember he's 'it' and actually tag someone else. But again, I have to remember that it's pretty amazing I can actually run around the pond with little fear of his getting into too much trouble or running away. Just 2 years ago, he decided to run home from school in an outdoor assembly and a fireman caught him after he crossed an intersection. He's really come a very long way! It's progress.
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