Pretty Mommy

Your past never leaves you. Even when you're out shopping with your three-year-old daughter. Eighteen and Marron have a moment.

Eighteen's left eyebrow quirked down involuntarily.

"No, Marron," she said calmly, though she was feeling a growing tightness in her chest.

"Yes!" her three year old daughter protested, pouting.

"Marron, no," Eighteen repeated. "Why not the blue ones? Don't you like blue?"

"Want the red ones!"

Eighteen closed her eyes and sighed deeply.

"I'm not buying you the red ones, Marron," she said, feeling foolish and guilty. "I'm going to get the blue ones, they'll look good with your hair."

"No!" Her daughter scrunched up her face and started to wail, and Eighteen had to scoop her up and cradle her close, shushing her. She glanced sideways at the other people in the store, though only a few of them even glanced her way, and none of them were staring. But she felt exposed and judged anyway.

"Okay, okay," she murmured. "I'll buy you the red ribbons. Geez."

Her daughter snuffled and leaned back, studying her mother's face. She placed her chubby hands carefully on her cheeks and touched her forehead to her mother's broad one.

"Pretty mommy," she said solemnly. The phrase had a myriad of meanings. Right now it meant, Don't be sad; I love you; thank you.

"My pretty girl," Eighteen murmured back, her usual response. Today it meant How can I be sad when you exist; I love you too; no, thank you.

Her hands did not tremble when she placed the ribbons on the counter to pay for them, and she tied them neatly into her daughter's hair when they got home.

Did anyone else notice what Marron was wearing in the Buu saga? I thought that was interesting.