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Simon’s memory is clearly improving, bringing along with it some unforeseen repercussions. Last Saturday Matt and I took him to Hogan’s Fountain in Cherokee Park. They have swings there, two play-sets, and a splash pad with two fountains for play on hot summer days.

Simon hadn’t explored the splash pad before, but this Saturday it was quite hot, so Matt and I encouraged him. He skirted the perimeter a few times, keeping a safe distance from the full force of the fountains. Then he spotted a golf ball on the concrete, picked it up, tossed it to the center of the fountain, and ran into the water spray full speed ahead to retrieve the ball. He played like this for some time, making a game of playing fetch with himself, stopping to grimace with his eyes squeezed shut as he stood under the ¬†foutain’s direct spray. It didn’t always look like he was having fun, but we had to assume he would not have repeated himself so often were he not enjoying the game.

On Tuesday I brought Simon back to Hogan’s Fountain. The minute I lifted him out of his stroller, he made a bee-line for the splash pad, pointing ahead to it and calling out “ball, ball, the ball” all the while. Uh oh. The golf ball wasn’t there this time. I watched with mixed emotions as Simon toddled around the entire perimeter of the splash pad in a futile search for his toy. He looked sad and confused by its absence, and I heard him babbling about the ball the entire time we played on the swings and climbing equipment.

Wednesday night the whole scenario played out again. Only this time Matt was with us, witnessing the sad little scene beside me. On the one hand, we’re impressed at his ability to make up games for himself and his ability to remember them. On the other hand, it was hard to see him look so disappointed and confused when he couldn’t play the game again. It’s as though his favorite toy was broken after only one day.

Needless to say, Matt and I have instituted a new house rule: Never go to Hogan’s Fountain without a golf ball in the stroller. That should get us through to Labor Day-then the fountain is turned off and his little heart will break anew.

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