A little update on my little Nate:
Last weekend, he learned how to read.
Yup, learned how in a weekend. What happened, you ask? No idea. One day he balked at sounding out "bus" and the next day he read a whole book to Jack. A new book from the library, so I'm sure it wasn't memorized. He still hesitates sounding out new words* but he's definitely off and reading.
This is the first word he ever tried to sound and write out by himself (it's supposed to be "puzzle", but an A+ for effort):
*Why does he hesitate to sound out new words? Because my son, pride of our hearts, is a very prideful boy. He does not like to be wrong, at all, ever. He covers his butt every time it looks like he might possible be a little wrong about anything. "I really meant..." and "I didn't say that..." and "I'm still right because..." roll right off the tongue. It's funny, but mostly it worries me: if he doesn't try new things, if he doesn't risk failing, then life will be very stilted and boring. I want him to climb Everest. I want him to travel to a country without a guidebook. I want him to fall and pick himself up again, and so far he's absolutely not that boy.
I choose to believe that this is a stage, that this part of his personality isn't set in stone. We'll keep encouraging him, not demanding, but pushing him to take chances and try new things. Hopefully over time it pays off for him.
In Aruba, I offered to take him parasailing but he dug his heels in. We watched some videos of other kids doing it and he wavered, but in the end stood firm in his refusal. So Debs and I offered to take him jet-skiing, and after some hesitation he climbed right on and had a great time. And on our snorkel / boat ride, he put on all the snorkel gear and actually climbed down the ladder out into the ocean with me. I was shocked. He went back and forth between me and the ladder several times, and when I thought he had truly given up I swam away from the boat a bit and all of a sudden he was right beside me, pretty far from the boat. He never put his face down into the water to see the fish, but I think he did a truly brave thing, swiming away from that boat into the very cold, wavey water. All hope is not lost.