Occassionally I am reminded: Jonathan is Different.
This week we had guests. Good friends with three children, ages 11, 6, and 3. Their youngest boy (3) also has some developmental delays, similar in many ways to Jonathan. And yet different. Nevertheless, despite having a household crammed with kids and toys and craziness, it was a wonderful week. Jonathan glittered with excitement as the week went on. Strangely, the two boys got on really well... which is great for two children with language issues and developmental delays. And the older children were wonderful with Jonathan as well... treating him like a sibling and playmate.
For me, it was wonderful having my friend here. Of course, just having a friend to pal around with was awesome. But there was something very comforting about having another mom around who gets it. Really gets it. And she gets Jonathan... no strange looks or pitying glances. Or avoidance of us. Just pure acceptance and enjoyment of Jonathan for who he is (and let me just say... Jonathan is delightful. No bias at all!).
Today they left to stay with some family on their trip. And the house is pretty quiet. When Jonathan got up from his nap he walked from room to room looking for the kids. I think we both felt a little lost.
So I decided we needed to get back into our routine. We packed up the stroller and headed to Jonathan's favorite place...the park. A dad and his two little boys were already there. The oldest boy... who was also 2 1/2 years old... ran up and said hi, asked for help up the slide, chatted up his dad, climbed all the way up the jungle gym to the top slide and went down with no help. He played rough and tumble with his daddy, and even tried to chat up Jonathan.
Jonathan just laughed. He was quiet most of the time, except to sign "Go" and "up" or to make his "Nnnnnnnnnnn" sound. He didn't respond to the boy, or to me really. He needed help up the slide and didn't climb up the jungle gym.
The boy's dad had a question in his eyes. He knew Jonathan was Different. It is starting to show... the differences between my boy and other children his age. When he was younger it wasn't necessarily apparent to the casual observer. But that is fading fast, and I am now struggling with Jonathan as Different.