This weekend we went to my in-laws' house to spend time with family (and sing a farewell song to our cousin like we were the "damn 'Van' Trapps" as my hilarious sister-in-law put it. But that's another story).
One of the topics of conversation was the way that Harrison has been "coming out of his shell." And now he "actually seems to like people." There was always a little bit of a running joke that Harrison just sort of scowls and broods, to the point where my brother-in-law was able to send us this picture, and we all knew the reference.
To be fair, my father-in-law has made this exact same face when the Christmas
wrapping paper wasn't finding its way into the designated trash bag.
But Sunday was a different story altogether. Harrison was running around, playing games, asking for toys, and setting stuff on fire just like all the other kids. (True story. You really should be coming to our family gatherings). I didn't really even think twice about it, until someone mentioned the significant difference he was witnessing. Harrison has been playing like this with other kids for a couple of months, but hasn't had the chance to do so with his cousins, and it really struck me that I had already almost entirely forgotten about any sort of "social delays" I was worried about a year ago.
He is speaking in full sentences, and really making some HUGE leaps in vocabulary. Things are "Good," "Great," and even "Wow, Amazing," as he sees fit, and he has at least five different words for "Fruit snack."
In fact, he's been teaching me to start using my words. If I dare to answer him with a nod or a simple, "mmhmm," he will reply with, "Mom, can you talk?" Full sentences, are most appreciated, but he'll settle for a direct yes or no if he's feeling generous. I feel very prepared for job interviews and any Toastmasters meetings I might stumble into, thanks to my son, the Speech Regulator.
My boy is still quite somber, and he will always be a bit of a grump in the mornings, but I feel a great deal of relief, knowing that Harrison's personality has broken through, past his shell of uncertainty. Maybe he won't do hard drugs and write songs about prisons after all.
A great deal of gratitude should be expressed to Harrison's preschool teachers and speech therapist, and okay, I'll say it, even the State did a good job. I think all he needed was a little confidence, and a little time, and just the tiniest bit of instruction, and now he's just like one of those "You'll be wishing he'd shut up!" success stories.