Her palm-sized mary janes pump back and forth, each leg secured in a square hole, holding on to the bar, examining me carefully.
I smile behind my mask and wave. Then I lose the thread. Her tenuous attention shifts.
I’m alone in the checkout, suddenly mourning my daughter’s toddlerhood. Hard, long hours. Battles of wills. Tears, hers and mine.
But I miss holding her close, her head on my shoulder, whispering in my ear.
With piercing clarity, I realize she’s growing away from me. Exactly as it should be.
But I ache with longing to be everything to her again.