Walking through Sear’s department store, I passed the boys’ and then the men’s department and calmly experienced all the expected memories: the packages of socks, the work pants, the plaid shirts, the dress shirts.
I continued on through the tool department where we bought so many Christmas presents for the men in our family: the flashlights, the socket wrench sets, the tool bags.
I was feeling rather victorious thinking that I had handled all that pretty well.
Thinking I was safe, I headed for housewares to look at sheets but then found myself in the little girls’ department which comes just before housewares.
I felt uneasy for some reason. What could be safer than the little girls’ department?
I ignored the silent warning which told me to just look straight ahead and press on to housewares. Instead, I let my eyes swing to the left to look at the little girls’ dresses, all pink and frilly and loaded with ribbons. So girly. No little boy memories here. No, sir.
So why the tears all of a sudden, in the very center of Sear’s department store, far from the exit or even the bathroom where I can hide and compose myself? Why does my heart hurt all of a sudden for no apparent reason?
Because, there is a reason.
Hans will never have a little girl.
And he would have made such a great Daddy.