This is five days ago in Richland, Washington. I took the picture originally because it was funny watching Bean just hunkered down there in our bed, watching Sesame Street. She burrowed herself in there, pulled the covers high on her chest, rested her head deep on the pillows.
Fast forward a couple of days, after I took her to the doctor for a nagging cough that wouldn't go away--- several nights of waking, sputtering and hacking from the phlegm. Diagnosis: a sinus infection on top of a double ear infection for good measure.
This picture looks different now. I see the exhaustion. The puffy eyes. The bruised shadows on her cheeks. This is a child so totally spent, so completely exhausted, so... done.
I promised her normalcy this week. Quiet.
So far I've provided the opposite. Missed naps and dozens of errands. Snappishness. Exasperation. Evening trip to the mall for a last-minute necessity. We haven't yet eaten dinner at the kitchen table and there are still two unpacked bags sitting on the kitchen counter.
And still Bean pushes on, looks for normalcy in the small things. She is bouncing off the walls for joy, enraptured to be able to play with her toys. I've caught her sitting on Phoebe no less than four different times, at least one of those instances she was decorating the cat with hot pads.
As I was carrying her upstairs Sunday afternoon, she pulled her arms around my neck, tight. She leaned in to me and put her hands on my cheeks to whisper, "Mommy. I so happy to be home. So happy."