|Day 8 of 31 at TWT!|
In the picture on my phone, Rainbow Girl's wide blue eyes are caught half-fixed on something in the distance and half-glancing at my dad, whose eyebrows are raised as his mouth forms "ohh" or "ooh". She points one stubby finger at something up and to her left while the pointer finger on her other hand jabs towards something to her right, both arms outstretched in opposite directions. Barely more than 1, her baby-chubbiness is encased in dinosaur pajamas with little claws on the footie toes as she perches in my dad's strong arms, wispy-fine baby hair blowing into her eyes.
In the next photo, my dad's huge hand hovers near her little hip to keep her steady on a stump as they both point down the creek in the same direction.
In another, she clings to my dad's shoulder while he holds her big sister's hand with his other arm, making sure neither of them falls into the creek as Sis's pink sparkly rain boots teeter rather precariously on a rock.
In one of my favorites, Rainbow Girl flaps her arms wildly (I can see them move in the Live photo!), mouth wide open and pink tongue sticking out, as my dad, cradling her, crouches to slip through a low gap in some bushes. His mouth is open almost as wide as hers!
In all the photos, the blue sky is doubly dazzling, above them and reflected in the creek behind them. It's a gorgeous, normal day.
In all the photos, no one is wearing a mask. We are breathing casually, wildly, recklessly in each other's faces, ready to kiss and nuzzle and snuggle without a second thought.
Without any idea what was to come.
No idea that for the next few months, we'd only see each other on screens and quick peeks through the front porch windows. No idea that when we finally got to share space again, we'd be wearing masks and staying outside. No idea that those sacrifices wouldn't be enough, that other people's rushing to normal would prolong our missed moments.
And definitely no idea that 2 years later, we'd find ourselves still here. Still in masks (now upgraded masks!), still limiting activities, still reducing exposure, still weighing risk, still waiting-waiting-waiting for a vaccine for Rainbow Girl. Still worrying.
No idea that 2 years would seem like ages, that Rainbow Girl would grow from a baby into a small person almost entirely at home, with a world we couldn't have imagined raging around her.
No idea that normal would be frozen in those photos.