I have one foot outside. My hip holds the door open and I stoop to clip the dog's harness to her chain. My eyes follow her out the door, an arc of movement. Something in the cuff of my jeans catches my attention. I don't stand up.
The dark material is coarse under my fingertips. I unfold it. Dandelion seeds cling to me.
I brush them off in a single exhale and they latch onto an unseen breeze, skirting across the concrete step and away from me, born into the air on a whispered wish. They blend into the air. Gone.
Someone says my name. Mama?
I straighten and step back into the house. Back to making dinner. Back to them. Back to sewing another patch into the parachutes on their backs.