Collin has been attending his new pre-K program for over a month now and is finally starting to come out of his shell. The first weeks were a bit overwhelming. Between the noise and the new routine, he spent a lot of time either tuned out or agitated. Now, though, he is starting to engage more and more. He likes to stand and dance during music time and is crazy about chapel. He loves his teacher and participates in show-and-tell and brings home a folder full of art work every week.
But to me, nothing has compared to the girls in Collin's class.
For example, there is a growing group of girls who bring Collin gifts of rocks and leaves throughout outside play time.
One particular girl created a special picture just for Collin during center time and made darn sure he took it home.
Another girl reports to her mom about what Collin did that day and what new things she learned about him.
And then there is the girl who took it upon herself this week to 'be in charge', which meant that she pushed Collin's wheelchair everywhere he went and suggested what she thought he would like to do during recess. When the activity was decided upon, she unbuckled Collin's seatbelt, released the lateral supports on his wheelchair, and reached to pick him up out of his chair (even though he's a good 10 pounds bigger than her), showing just how closely she had been watching Collin and Heather in the past weeks.
Not to mention, of course, his beloved cousin who is his official interpreter and advocate.
Collin can be scary to other kids. I know this. I've seen the stares and the reluctance to be near him. So this kind of initiative, this kind of open, generous, genuine friendship is golden. It's enough to melt a mama's heart.
We like to tease Collin in front of other people about having girlfriends, but in our serious times we talk about how special it is to find true friends, whether they are boys or girls.