When looking back on 2020, one of the good memories that flows through is when I had visited my cousins in Oregon during the late summer. If COVID had kept a pause on plane rides at that time, I most likely wouldn’t have gone. My youngest cousin was around 2 and this was only the second time I had seen her since 2018. She was just a couple months old back then and constantly cried. She liked no one but her parents, mainly because she was so little. So, I never had the chance to grow a connection with her.
When I arrived in early August she let me hold her and play with her. I was surprised since two years ago she wouldn’t let me go near her and the two times I held her she just cried, but I didn’t waste time thinking about that. I only had a week to somehow establish a relationship with her before I returned home. Even with a chaotic year like 2020, times like this would shine through with some light of positivity telling me to cherish the smaller moments.
I still remember her glossy cheeks when she smiled all big. The way her eyes glowed when I agreed to play picnic with her as she wore that cowgirl hat. Her little legs carrying her body across one side of the house to the other as I chased her while saying in that obnoxious little kid voice, “I’m going to get you, Olive!” My other two cousins followed behind, shouting and making a mess which we’d have to clean later. But I didn’t care. I just remember feeling nothing but happiness in that exact moment.