The other day, I spent the better part of my train ride home from work catching up on personal emails. This is not usually so exciting, except that evening it was. Because there, among the avalanche of messages, was one from The Fireman Max. He'd sent it using his iPad, at 10:21 a.m. He wanted to know where we were going on vacation.
Max has known how to email for years now. But he'd never spontaneously emailed me a question. I was so excited. I figured he'd done it during OT therapy and he had; they'd been talking about the holiday break, and Max was struggling to say where he was going. So he reached out to me.
Max's conversation and interaction skills are a work in progress. I think that was one of the things that most surprised me about his development because he is, by nature, extremely friendly and social. But having interactive conversations aren't instinctive to him. For a long time, he would just talk about himself—I like purple, I want to be a firefighter, I love stuffed shells. We've had to teach him to ask people questions and to listen. That is still a work in progress, but Max has come a long way.
When I walk in the door and Max asks "How are you?" (and he always emphasizes "you"), he genuinely means it. It is the nicest way to come home from work. Well, that and Ben running toward me and saying "Mommmmmmmmy!" or Sabrina gracing me with a smile. I can have conversations in the car with him when I'm driving. True, they mainly center around his desire to move to Orlando, but still, we are talking and there is real back and forth.
Yesterday, there was another email from Max. "I am Excited," he wrote.
I felt the same.