Every Saturday, Joey and I head over to the church to listen to the music. There is a little band that plays contemporary Christian music for the Saturday service, and Joey likes to watch the drums and the guitars and whatnot. We practice some signs and some social skills and that sort of thing, but we usually scoot out before the sermon- sitting still through someone else talking is not Joey's forté.
There is a lady who has taken a liking to Joey. She's an older lady with not the best health, but plenty of smiles. She is very tolerant of Joey pleying with her jewelry, and one week she even brought in a puppet to play with him.
Before the muic starts, Joey usually spents the time running up and down the aisles, tracking the pews. Since this is what he does to make himself comfortable, no one is really there yet, and it isn't hurting anybody, I don't curtail this much. What five-year-old doesn't relish his first little tastes of freedom from Mom? He also hands out hugs to church members who ask for them as they wander in, like the pastor, and his friend, and the Sunday School director. When the first note strikes, he settles next to me for the music.
Yesterday, we were doin our usual wandering, when he saw his friend in the vestibule. We were at the front, and he caught sight of her- and made a beeline to her, said, "Hi!" and gave her a big hug! Then he stayed to say things like, "How are you?" Scripted, but appropriate, and self-initiated!
She hadn't called him over to her. She didn't ask the questions first. This was all on his own!
Yes, we're coming right along here in our little corner of the world.