It always comes out sounding like “hep”. Olivia is in her outdoor hut that Melissa made for her, her plastic chair on its side halfway out of the doorway.
“What do you need help with? Do you want your chair in here?”
I pick up the chair and set it upright inside the playhouse. Obviously, this is not how I was supposed to help, because she immediately picks up the chair and carries it out, setting it on the lawn. She goes back into the structure and pats the ground while looking back at me.
“Sit. Sit,” she demands.
“Sweetie, there’s not enough room in there for daddy. I can’t sit.”
She walks back out, reaches out and takes my hand to lead me. I’m completely powerless when she does this. I still remember the first time she decided to hold my hand and lead me around. As soon as that tiny hand grabs mine, I will follow her wherever she takes me. She pulls me to the doorway of the playhouse and walks in.
“Sit.” Not demanding. Not really. Just emphatic and almost pleading. “Sit.”
So I do.
“Ok baby. There’s not much room for daddy and you in here, but I’ll try.”
I sit on the ground there with her, and pull out my phone. I know chances like this are limited, so I start trying to take pictures of the two of us in there together. Taking pictures with the phone in the confined area while trying to get both of us in frame and deal with the sun shining in from behind us isn’t easy, but she’s happy. And so am I.
Looking at the pictures, I’m amazed at how old she looks now, especially the way her hair is pulled back here. I see her here, just a few days shy of two years old, her smile showing her diastema just like her father, and I wonder what else she is going to have from me. Are they good things? Bad? There’s so much unknown and she’s still so young, but the time is going so fast. Too fast. But she’s happy. And so am I.