Sure, she's seen photographs and pictures. But, probably because I'm pretty darn strict when it comes to her bedtime, she's never seen one "in real life" before.
Two weekends ago, Ray and I got the kids to bed. It rained fairly hard for just the fewest of minutes and then stopped. We went outside to pick up the lawn toys and furniture.
And there it was, this perfect double rainbow, one end to the other, right over the bushes against this blue-gray sky.
The girls had only been in bed about 15 minutes so I knew they were not yet asleep. So I caved. I went in and asked them if they wanted to come out of bed for a special surprise. Who could say no to that?
So out we went, walking barefooted on the porch, tiptoeing out to the driveway.
It took Lola just a few seconds to spot it. Millie, it took longer.
But once they saw it, they started singing a song from one of Millie's signing videos. OK, Lola was singing, Millie was more like humming. But she started signing all of the words to the song, showing us all of the colors she saw.
We stayed out about fifteen minutes and then it was back to bed.
As I tucked Millie in, I asked her, Did you see a rainbow?, giving her that last soft kiss on her forehead.
And she smiled, nodding, then looked up at me with these twinkling eyes.
"Ray-oh," she said, doing the sign for rainbow. "Ray-oh."
When Ray comes home, it's like a party. The kids swarm around him and celebrate.
Inevitably, though, he usually gets home about bedtime. Often, it's 15-20 minutes of playtime followed by bedtime routines.
The other weekend, Ray got home and went to put the kids to bed.
"I love you Millie," he said, to the youngest.
"uv oo Dada," she said back.
New words come. Some weeks, they come frequently and some weeks none at all.
But they come.
And the more she talks, the more confident she gets.
She's isn't talking-talking, and she won't do it on command or have a "conversation," but she's getting closer. Every day.
We've started yet another chapter in her development. After more than two years of working with therapists at the hospital, we've decided to transition to a private practice.
Millie has been there twice now (three, if you count the initial eval.) and LOVES it.
I'm excited to see how this goes, to see how she blossoms. Already, I feel like we've made some great progress and I feel, myself, less confused and "stuck" about where she is and what we should be working on.
Rainbows. I'm thinking of rainbows today. We're past the major storms. Sure, the sun's not quite shining and the air feels damp. But the worst is behind us and there's clearer days to come. Rainbows. They're everywhere.