Joseph just woke up. He came in and said, “I had a good sleep. It’s morning time now.”

RDI calls this “reporting”: telling us what’s happening in one’s life just because it’s nice to share. We’ve never had this before. I’m loving it.

Previously it’s been hard to get even a snippet of information from Joseph, especially because, RDI style, we try not to ask a lot of questions. I might say, “I bet school was fun today…” and wait for his response. Even short responses have been a rare blessing.

But in the past week he’s become a chatterbox! Yesterday he and Blue Eyes came home and Joseph jumped right in, telling me how they’d gone to a new restaurant and how much fun he’d had there running around. Also, now when he does imaginary play, he narrates the whole thing.

People are finally and firmly becoming a part of  his play. The mom and dad and their two boys are lining up to get on the train — oh, and their baby — and now they’re getting off and going home to bed…

Or a firetruck screams up to the fire, the front door opens up and a firefighter comes out. His name is Yozin, I’m told, and Yozin gets busy climbing ladders and breaking windows to save the burning house.

It used to be only about the trains. Or the firetrucks. People were never a part of the picture.

More has surfaced than that. The locking of eyes and shared smiles. New expressions like, “I’m being funny,”  Important little things that I never noticed weren’t there before: “Ummmm…” (can you imagine never saying “Um?”), “Owww!”, that kind of thing. All said very appropriately.

He’s saying our names, including them in his sentences, using them to get our attention.

Socially, Joseph seems to be getting how to play with his peers. For instance, we were in the pool the other day with a little friend. He turned to Joseph suddenly, said, “Ready, set, go!” and swam off for the other side.

Joseph immediately got it and raced after him. When they reached the other side, he turned to Chris and said, “Ready, set, go!” right back — and off they went again.

This is something we worked on in RDI a while ago: seeing the pattern in things, being able to join in and then to add (and adapt to) variations. But to see it happening, dynamically, right before my eyes is no less than miraculous.

Words cannot express.

In my opinion, we owe much of it to Valtrex. Hard work, gut health, RDI too — but Valtrex is the new kid on the scene.

Joseph’s been on it for 6 weeks now. Our educated guess was that he had an undetectable virus running in his system and that Valtrex, an anti-viral, would address it.

This seems to be exactly what’s happening. It’s so encouraging! It is like watching a miracle unfold, slowly but surely.

Joseph’s preschool teacher tells me she’s giddy with his progress. It’s time for his semi-annual assessment, but this time she’s putting aside the special needs assessment and using the typical one. It’s more relevant now.

My heart is daring to hope just a little bit more. Parenting is actually starting to be fun.

My little boy is blossoming, and it is by far the most beautiful flower I have ever seen.

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