Oh this sweet, precious girl! My Keagan sure is one of a kind in the most perfect way! She looks so much like her daddy (but much prettier) and has a personality a lot like her cousin Sami and aunt Sa. But I still see a lot of myself in her too. The thing I am most in awe of in her is that she follows one of my personal life mottos SO well!
Miss Keagan definitely blooms where she is planted!
She has bloomed at a new school this year, made wonderful friends this year, and conquered new challenges. But there is so much more to her blooming!
Ok we are about to get real honest real fast here y'all!
She is being raised by a single mom which is one thing and only sees her dad twice a year. But probably an even bigger challenge, one that builds her tremendously but is still challenging none the less, is being Riley's twin sister. It has been said many times that there is nothing more fulfilling and challenging at the same time as being a special needs parent. Well being a special needs sibling is its own extremely unique life shaper.
Miss Keagan is so incredibly blessed by Riley! She has learned and will continue to learn so many amazing things as the result of her sisters special needs. And being loved by Riley is something special! But there is also a difficult side to being that sibling and twin. Keagan has to handle quite a bit that most kids her age don't, and she handles it with such grace! Probably the hardest thing that we see everyday is that Riley gets a TON more attention from everyone! And I do mean everyone- from me to strangers at the mall and everyone in between. The same rules and expectations don't always apply to each girl and that's usually unfair on Keagan's end. Unfortunately at times she is passed around because Riley has therapy and doctors appointments. The hospital stays are the worst with that! When Riley has any medical or behavioral issues, Miss Keagan's needs end up taking the back seat. And Keagan often fills in as Riley's interpreter and care taker when she shouldnt have to be. And really the list goes on.
But the good news is how well Keagan handles it all! She definitely blooms where she is planted! Just like I have no second thought about it, Keagan would never trade her special twin for any of that list to go away! She takes it all in stride most days, helps me tremendously, and although she can be frustrated with Riley or fight with her, she is also Riley's biggest cheerleader, protector and friend! My heart swells when I catch Keagan hugging Riley at school, trying to help her fall asleep when she is upset, making sure Riley has enough Easter eggs in the middle of a hunt, explaining to other kids that Riley's not weird, and getting on me when I'm less then patient with Riley! And those things happen all the time! She truly is a remarkable sister and little girl!
She has also bloomed after being planted in a field called dyslexia. Once Keagan finally got the dyslexia diagnosis she immediately started to bloom! With an explanation and a name for her reading difficulty, her confidence went way up and she improved her reading dramatically after the beginning DIP (dyslexia intervention program) lessons. She has moved up 3 reading levels in just a few months and I couldn't be more proud of her strength and effort! I'm also SO thankful for her teachers and two reading specialists who have gotten her there!
Last Thursday I went up to school to have lunch with Keagan on my day off. It had been an extremely rough morning with Riley in particular and without saying a word Keagan told me loud and clear that she needed a little more from me. So I took her Subway and gummy colas, we sat outside in the shade on the cement and talked. We chatted about nothing important but that time was uber important to both of us! After finishing her lunch, she made her way into my lap and insisted we take selfies together. I'm so thankful we documented the moment as it is one I never want to forget! And I'm so thankful that this blooming, strong, funny, smart, determined, stubborn, gorgeous girl is mine forever! And that I've got a front row seat to see just what she is going to bloom into next!