Over the last year or so I’ve written and said a lot about how great Jay is doing. The amount of time I spend talking about his bad days or his meltdowns or my frustrations have dropped dramatically. That’s partly because as he gets older I feel like it’s less appropriate for me to talk about his bad days in detail but the bigger part is simply that there is less to talk about.
He really is doing great and he rarely melts down anymore and he has gotten so much better about being in new situations with new people and he is doing a fantastic job of communicatiing effectively.
The thing is, though, Jay does much better in familiar surroundings and with familiar people. Even if the people are familiar, he is not a big fan of crowds or too much frantic activity. He likes calm.
That means there are times we go to someones house for a party or we go to a show or to the zoo or camping and Jay loses his cool. There are people there who don’t see him everyday but they follow along with me touting his progress and then what they see doesn’t jive.
Sometimes, I wonder if people think I’m lying. They would be justified to wonder. The rare occasion they do see him, he has one (or a few) rough moments with yelling or crying or other difficult behaviours. They aren’t there everyday to see his good manners and his sweet overtures to his brother and to hear him randomly tell me that he loves me or to get his hugs and kisses and to laugh with him and play with him in his most comfortable environments.
Recently, we went to a (not for a little kid) birthday party. I guess it was more of a casual but delicious dinner, get together, talking and hanging out with yummy yummy desserts but no candles or singing but take a way containers so I could bring delicious lunch to work and now there is left over yummy yummy lemon meringue pie in my fridge, birthday celebration.
It was a Sunday evening just over an hour away from home. Going would mean not sticking to our evening routine. We would no doubt be out past bedtime. There would no doubt be people there who we don’t see often. There could be loud noises or strong scents or any host of other triggers.
Jay was wonderful from start to finish.
He greeted people with hugs and kisses on the cheek and he entertained himself and he told the other children they needed to be nice to each other when they weren’t getting along and he asked nicely when he wanted things and he answered questions that were asked of him and he shared his knowledge about what the sun is made of and he tidied up the toys when it was time to go and he followed the rules about only eating in the kitchen and he threw his garbage away without being asked.
A friend who was there told me repeatedly how good he’s doing. How impressed she was by him. How far he’s come. She thought everything he did was cute and everything he said was funny.
It was really nice to hear that. I mean, I didn’t NEED to hear it. I know he’s awesome and smart and cute and funny. I know the important thing was that HE felt happy and content and relaxed. But it was nice to hear from someone else.