This morning I rounded up the kids and, in anticipation of staying indoors because of a rainy afternoon, I told them we were walking to the park. Our toddler, C, was going FULL BORE FOR PARK EXCITEMENT and the 5 year old, E, was somewhat amenable to a park trip. But P wasn't feeling it. It wasn't until I reminded him that the park had a net he could practice climbing that he started to perk up. I think his hours in OT are paying off because he seems stronger and more coordinated this summer, and he's able to really enjoy more of the park equipment.
Once we got to the park I settled myself with my knitting and kept and eye on the kids. P somehow wound up playing with two other boys...it was some kind of "giant spider versus insects with lightsabers" kind of game. I watched in amazement as he played appropriately, chasing, being chased, adding to the narrative. He wasn't 100% typical - his current obsession is Pokemon and he talked a bit about summoning different creatures to attack - but it was close enough to play for about half an hour with the kids. I have never, ever seen him in a situation where he jumped in and interacted with the other kids. I was on the edge of my metaphorical seat, ready to jump up and redirect him when the time came...but it never did. I left when C became fussy, partially because I wanted to leave while the interaction was still positive, but it gave me some hope. Maybe he's starting to come around. Call it maturity, learning skills, not having the baggage of having been identified as being "the weird kid" of the class, or just luck in finding two kids who don't mind playing with a kid who's pretending to be a giant spider, it made my morning.