I cannot shake the image from my mind. A doll, strapped into a high chair. At the other end of the table a younger woman with her husband, a 10-year-old boy sitting far away but obviously part of the group, and an older woman with a faraway look in her eyes, lost in some inner world. The doll, I realize, is hers. The face of the doll is disturbing, with pen marks and the leftover tracks of colored markers strewn across it. I’m captivated yet repelled, and I’m trying like the dickens to craft a story in my head that makes sense. Maybe even one that’s heartwarming. But I can’t. In the end, I realize this: I’m grateful that this family is willing to include this Chucky-esque doll — so obviously important to the older woman — in their dinner out in public. That inner world may be alien to others, but it’s rich and real to her.