Keegan took another step in his development this weekend. Mark and Amy were in town with their boys. We met them at the pool in the Tanner’s neighborhood. We’ve taken Keegan to the beach and to several pools. One thing we know is that he does not like it when the water is cool. However, it’s August, and the weather here the last week or so has been partly furnacy with a chance of spontaneous combustion, so I was hopeful that the water would be comfortable. It did not disappoint. This meant that K-Man was comfortable stepping into the shallow end on the steps. I picked him up and walked him around the shallow end, but he wasn’t comfortable with that very much. So we put him back on the steps and let him acclimate at his own pace.
Then we were visited by the Fritchman boys — one goggled and one not. They were — as usual — a bundle of energy and wanted Keegan to join in. Actually, Eli wanted me to make Keegan join in, asking “Why don’t you put him under the water?” I explained that Keegan didn’t want to be put under the water, but Eli couldn’t hear me because about that time, Asa had come over and dunked Eli. Karma.
Meanwhile, on the shallow end steps, Keegan was getting more comfortable with the water sitting on the second step so the water was up to his neck. Bored with that, he stood up and walked to the edge of the pool which caught the attention of Asa and Eli. I held out my hands to see if he wanted to come back into the water, and he reached as if he did. I pulled him off the edge and held him walking around a bit in the water. But he wanted back on the edge. So I placed him up there. Then Eli joined him on the edge and jumped off. And you could see the wheels turning in Kee’s head.
Oooh, that looks interesting.
I like jumping off stuff.
I jump off the changing table when Daddy is standing there.
Daddy’s standing right there.
I think I’ll jump off here.
And Jen and Amy clapped and cheered.
Oooh, there’s a crowd watching me. I like having a crowd. Get me back to the edge Dad so I can jump off again for my adoring fans.
He jumped again and again. Each time to more applause. And Eli kept jumping too. But Kee seemed to notice that Eli was disappearing under the water when he jumped. I had been catching him to keep his head above the water. Getting him used to jumping first before we raised the stakes as Eli suggested and put him under the water. I could tell that he was really thinking about the fact that Eli was under the water when he jumped and he was not. I turned to Jen and said, he’s going under this time.
She gasped a little and stepped back so that her worrisome aura didn’t infect the development that was taking place.
And then he jumped again, and I let him go under all the way. He loved it! He barely rubbed his eyes. Couldn’t get back to the edge fast enough to jump off again. Keep in mind this is the same kid who hates us pouring water on his head to rinse the shampoo out of his hair. But now he doesn’t care if I let him jump into three feet of water. Whatever. He jumped and jumped until he basically exhausted himself.
The cool thing for me was watching Kee reveal his competitive streak. He saw the other boys doing something and thought, “I can do that.” The same thing happened when he took his first steps at Mark and Amy’s house last October while the boys were running around the room in front of him.
According to several Irish sources, Keegan means “fiery one” or “little fiery one” or “determined.” Although hardly “little,” K-Man is living up to his name. He is fiery and determined. We continue to foster the positive aspects of that, letting him explore his limits and pushing beyond them as he is ready. And the privilege of participating in that is humbling.