When you have a kid like Ryan you run into people who either get him or they don’t. It’s a visceral reaction usually that people sneer looking at him or smile wide. A few years back Ryan had a swim instructor who has ADHD. She was amazing with him and he adored her. She is still a lifeguard at the pool and she has a special place in her heart for both Ryan and Aaron.
This afternoon she motioned me over to talk to me. My heart sunk. Usually if a lifeguard pulls me over they have bad news and Ryan has really stepped over the line. She said Ryan has been so well behaved all weekend. The lifeguards were talking about the incredible difference in his behavior between this year and last year. He has been using his please and thank you with everyone and following the pool rules like no running on the deck. When a smaller kid budged in front of him in the high dive line he has been gracious. A younger kid was scared to take his high dive test and before the test Ryan told him how to pass it. He even got involved with the water polo game and since he was younger they let him be the goalie. Ryan has all weekend wandered around the pool with a smile on his face. I thanked the lifeguard as tears came to my eyes. Rarely do people go out of their way to tell me what Ryan did right. It meant the world to me.