There’s an essay in the black/white cookie moon hung over Target, emerging next to my where-did-the-time-go lanky ten year old who initiated this trip. She is wearing the purple gingham mask my mother sewed for her, clutching her purse no longer burning with unspent cash, the crinkled shopping list with her handwriting has done its part. We climb back into the car with all the things she has planned to get. Gum, candy, lipstick, a little doll to share with M when they play “tiny dolls”. On the drive back home as I am treated to recounted scenes from Odd Squad, I see her expressive wide eyes in the rear-view mirror and my heart creaks with the weight of all that I know and the ache of hope that we can get through this and start repairing and redeeming the damage we’ve done, for the sake of our children. I’m among the adults now. We have to do this now.

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