Wednesday, 9 April 2014

My Amazing Nephew- Engaging Nathan

It has been a super eventful week, sorry if I haven't been around much.  This last Sunday was my baby sister's baby shower up in Pennsylvania.  One of the best parts of the shower for me was that my older sister and her kids came!  They live in Indiana and we don't get to see each other too often, so it was a real treat.  They spent several days at the Smithsonian, but Friday night they came to our house for a very casual dinner before we headed up to the shower the next morning.

I love that I never have to explain a thing with my sister, first of all.  She is a special educator, and even if that wasn't the case, she has made it her business to stay informed about what is going on with the boys.  Not only is she very aware, but so are her kids.  They are so good around the boys, very tolerant and considerate.  We last saw them at Thanksgiving, and at the time, my sister's youngest son, who is about a year older than Jack was really working on getting Nate to "play". 

Nate is a very affectionate little boy with people who he knows very well.  However he is very distinctly uninterested in other children for the most part.  In other words, he ignores them.  It has always been pretty tough for Jack, and he has for the most part given up on trying to play with his brother (and yes, of course this makes me sad).  It has to be said that they are a tough combination, as Jack really doesn't understand personal space, etc, and Nate doesn't want anyone too close.  Anyway, at Thanksgiving my nephew was tickling Nate, and he was laughing like a little maniac.  Usually if another child tries to tickle him he screams and runs, wants nothing to do with it.  So this was great progress.

My nephew clearly came to our home on Friday with a mission.  Nate WAS going to play with him.  He did not give up all evening.  At times, both my sister and I reminded him to read Nate's cues, like when he screamed or ran away (lol).  But for the most part, Nate was interested in G- he giggled like a maniac when he tickled him, and he did run away and throw himself in my lap, but he did something very different from what he normally does when he is in this situation.  He turned around to see if his cousin followed him, and kept laughing.  Then he got back up and engaged with G in this "play" again, and when he needed a break he would run back to my lap.  But it was very clear interaction- very much so back and forth.  And without question it was a huge change for Nate.   He even attempted to say his cousin's name at one point

Me being me, I found myself crying.  Just seeing Nate respond to another child positively, to show interest in continuing an interaction, was amazing.  And his cousin was LOVING it.  At one point, my mom asked G what his favorite thing of the day was- meaning which Smithsonian exhibit of course, and he without hesitation replied "Nathan".  Sob.

When the kids left, Nate stood in the window watching for a long time.  He was still laughing.  He kept turning back to me and grinning, it just melted my heart. 

I want to say thank you to my nephew for being the amazing little boy that he is (this is true for my older nephew and my niece too of course), and I want to say a special thank you to my sister and brother in law for raising such a considerate, loving, and frankly, persistant little boy.  He soooo made my week!!

Here is an awesome pic of my mom, me and my sissies from the baby shower.  I love these ladies more than words can say, I don't know what I would do without them!  They keep me sane and encourage my craziness and hold my hand through the most difficult times in my life.  Love you all so much!

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