The crying was real and broke my heart. She’d lost someone dear to her and there was nothing I was going to be able to do about it. Or was there? She had passed out in the back seat, tear streaks still moist on her cheeks. I did try to find her friend, but our searching came up empty. From the Timberland, I literally crawled to search under armor, but it seemed a cold case. “Flounder” was lost somewhere in the “Bob’s Store” and Big Papi wasn’t bringing him back. I was well aware this was a traumatic event and there was no way I wanted responsibility for a future moment when Maddy shrieks to some therapist, “MY PAPA COULDN’T FIND FLOUNDER!” A mild tremor at the thought coursed my body and it confirmed a drastic measure was required: intervention. I took the rural routes along 31 and 140 until I reached Berlin. No, Massachusetts, not Germany. Madison was still groggy, and as I brushed her hair from her post-nap eyes, dried yogurt announced itself. Not surprisingly, simply breaking the plane of the Disney store brought Maddy back and a stuffed “Flounder” brought back her smile. I threw in an “Ariel” nighty because I’m her grandfather and that’s what I do. Now shopping can tire a woman out, so we hit up the food court for a slice. A merry-go-round now sits at center court… I’d say the intervention was a success. For today.
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