The moon is a faint echo on the horizon as I drive back home from the daycare. It is way too late in the morning to catch the moon. I turn into my housing development and it is no longer in view. This has been an unusual week so it makes sense I see a fully visible moon at 9:00 AM in the morning.
A cousin I last saw fourteen years ago is visiting me. Somedays I catch myself staring at her, her features reminding me of so many people I know. I treasure hearing her speak, her inflections reminiscent of her dad. I watch her with my children, all three crowding around her, watching cat and dog pictures. I watch the way her arms gather them around her and feel my breath catch.
We sit, late in the night talking about school, about work, about aspirations, about dreams. I often have to remind myself to get off the soapbox. She is exceedingly polite, our day together littered with a million thank you akkas. I drop her off at work and for a moment imagine it is my daughter I am dropping off. I feel a pang, I wish her a good day and leave many things unsaid. I want to say, “have fun, be safe, call me” but I don’t.
I last saw her, the same age as my daughters now, clutching an American Girl doll in matching Dollie and Me pajamas. We talked about Harry Potter and white elephants then. We talk about elephants in the room now.
In a couple of days, she will go back home and I will have my days and evenings to myself. I will talk to my children on our evening walks, about family, about ties that bind, about the wonders of seeing parts of you being reflected in others. Most of all, I will remind them to not let so many days pass before reaching out.