Something is making me really happy this spring, a sight that's more uplifting than all the bright flowers in bloom: Max is out there playing with the kids on our street, for the first time.
Something is making me a little sad this spring: He's not exactly being included.
Sunday, I was in the house cleaning up after dinner; my husband had taken the kids outside. When I caught up with them, Dave was chatting with a mom as Max and his little sis were playing Frisbee with some dads and kids. Only Max wasn't exactly playing; everyone was throwing the frisbee as he just sort of ran around between them. "Could you please toss the frisbee to Max?" I asked one dad. He did, and Max tried to catch it. Then he picked up the frisbee from the ground and did his best to toss it. Then everyone went back to playing frisbee amongst themselves, and Max went back to running around. He seemed happy, and I decided not to interfere again.
Later, kids were doing relay races on the golf course. They all lined up, including Max. "Awww, he's going to be too slow," one kid said. I looked at him. "That's not really nice," I said. "He's going to race at his own pace."
And then the kids were off and dashing across the green, green grass, and there was Max doing his wobbly run, lagging behind. But he made it to the sand pit and I was so proud. This, the child who wasn't supposed to walk, let alone run.
When all the kids had made it back, Max decided he was going to start the next race. "Errrrry, ehhhhh, goooooooo!" he said, his version of "Ready, set, go!"
And all the kids took off. Twilight was falling, and it was just me and Max, standing there watching them race away. And we were both smiling.