They duck through clothing racks but their glances trace back again and again.
In and out, in and out, coordinated tutus and perfectly ponytail-ed hair. I see their question and pretend away the difference.
Concentrating on the long legs overflowing from our toddler stroller, I distract her sleepy eyes with pink fabrics and sparkly shoes.
My heart turns on its side as the question floating in the air barrels towards us.
“Why is your big girl in a baby stroller?”
And there it was.
Because we are here.
We are different. Again.
I’m dreaming of a bubble to place her in to protect her from being misunderstood. Again.
I am trying not to compare, not to wonder where we will be next year or next month or tomorrow morning. Again.
And I’m working really, really hard not to ask why we can’t get a break. Why all of my kids can’t be healthy and active and alive.
I explain to wondering little faces that my big girl is just tired, leaving out how much I wish she was begging me to trail them through fabrics.
I push our way back through the aisles, searching for something to carry the weight on my heart.
What weight do you carry in parenthood? Is there something that occupies your mind that people would never know just by passing you in a mall?
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