I know I say this every time, but I am constantly amazed at the progress Joel is making. It's not just that he's doing new things, which he is all the time. It's more that he just has a completely different air about him, a confidence and happiness and a genuine engagement with the world around him.
Like all three year olds, he doesn't like to perform on command, so I don't have any evidence yet of many of his latest "tricks". The best is that for a year, he's been asked the question, "Who made you?" during language class. He never responds, but a couple of months ago he definitely started making a sound when he was asked. Then about a month ago that sound changed to a gggggg sound. And a couple of weeks ago, he said his very first word as the answer to that question: God! It was an awesome moment, and such an awesome first word!
During language class, if they want a treat they can come up and sing a song. Most of them sing one of about 3 songs, but the littlest ones usually always sing "Oh How I Love Jesus". So when I say, "Joel, imba (sing)!" he hums the entire first line of the chorus. It. Is. Perfect.
When all the kids are asked to make a good fashion (striking a pose) one at a time, he just props that little hand on his hip and tilts his head over to the side, so proud of himself.
In the song "Skiddery-dinky-dinky-doo", he has been known to fall forward right of his chair because he was so excitedly throwing his hands forward to say "YOU!"
So the most exciting news in his world is that he's walking with a walker now! He was fitted for braces in June, and since then he's been wearing them daily in preparation for this. Months ago he started walking back and forth with an adult walker with our help at therapy. A month and a half ago or so he started on the treadmill, and now he has his own personal walker. I brought it to the house for the first time last week, but previously he had only used it at therapy. He is so proud of that thing, and he will just use an arm to slam people away if they try to push it with him. It's awesome! He usually puts his hands on the top black handles, but this particular day he wasn't.
As always, we are beyond proud of him and excited to see what he does next. I am constantly finding myself in tears just watching him. Sometimes we're just doing the most mundane thing, and I look over at him doing it right alongside the others and I can't help but crying. The mundane can be so miraculous.