So I went back there, and helped him get out of his car seat. I opened the big sliding door, and he carefully climbed his way out. The steps are pretty big and normally one or the other of us gives him one or two hands and he jumps out, but he didn't complain at all at being allowed to climb out on his own. He was very careful about the last, big step, actually finding a good handhold on the latched back door, itself, to help him down. He even got an extra bit of support by putting his palm down on the floor of the van itself to let himself down easily.
When he was out, instead of just walking towards John or the house or stuff, he looked back at me. I'd sat down again, on the back bench seat, too tired to get all the bags, Jet's car seat, and everything else that needed hauling back into the house. Jet asked, "You get out?" I nodded, "Yeah, eventually. I'm too tired to get out right now."
Instead of just moving along, he held his arms up to me and said, "Here you go."
It's the same thing John and I do for him when he needs help getting up, down, or whatever. I nearly cried. Instead, I took his hands, got up and got out of the van and said, "Thank you, Jet. Thank you very much."
He smiled at me, and walked back towards the house. Wow.
The other thing he surprised me with, last night, was that after a year+ of having John and I drive the mouse for all his computer games, Jet actually started just driving the mouse himself. Up to this point, he was pretty wild with the thing, just thrashing on it whenever it didn't do what he'd want, which, of course, would only take it further off track. But for whatever reason, yesterday, he just Got It. He'd click the mouse very carefully to not move it, when I asked him to click things. Then, when he was actually driving it himself, he moved it deliberately instead of thrashing it and got it to do exactly what he wanted it to do!
It was so cool! But now I can see why some moms also feel this tinge of "my baby's growing up!" when they do something that makes them more independent. Don't get me wrong. I love, love, love the fact that he can drive his own games now and I am very glad that he's less dependent on me. There is this in-built twinge, though, at being needed less. I agree it's a good thing that I'm needed less, but the emotional things are there, still.
It was really cool, though, to see him so happy about being able to direct Freddi as he wanted and do most of the Tonka Search & Rescue missions himself. Wow.