It was just a couple of days before she was due to move into her room at the University. We were winding up the last round of her dorm shopping. Everything on the long list had been ticked off – from the mattress topper to USB drives. We got out of the store, ready to head back home and start packing. Toys R Us was just a couple of stores down from the electronics store. She wanted to go in there.
“Why? Was there a Disney Princess tea set on your list?” her dad teased her, “or perhaps a copy of The Cat in the Hat?”
“I just want to look,” she said, a big goofy grin on her face. “Just for old times’ sake.”
We walked into the store after a period of I don’t know how many years. The whole place looked different and it felt strange to be in there again, among the colorful toys and cheery signs.
I watched her walk into the Barbie aisle, her fingers securely laced with her dad’s. As she wistfully checked out the new additions and the Barbie kitchen set, I heard her asking her dad, “Don’t you wish everything I ever wanted in life could still be found in this store?”
I am sure he does and so do I. I also think that she does too. At least in some corner of her heart. Maybe that’s why, after all the packing was done and everything was laid out, ready to be loaded into the van, when I asked her, “Are you ready to move in?” she looked me right in the eye and said, “Yes I am. I am going to gather up all these things and move in. Right back into your womb.”
“Ouch!” was all that I could manage.