nightly ritual

Every night, sometime between 3 and 5 AM, my son comes galumphing into my bedroom and then my bed like an outsize puppy.

Startled from sleep still I move quickly, lifting him to the other side of the mattress before he can awaken his brother and sister, my bookends already there. We settle in. He is silent, aside from the occasional soft sleepy warbling he has made since he was a babe. He’s pressed tight to my side, and he’s chilled, so he welcomes the blanket without complaint and kicks. He sighs and is asleep again in less than a minute.

Usually I am too but tonight I creep out of the room to write. Three small children await me upstairs now, three small bodies to twist myself around like a contortionist, three small people dreaming their own big dreams. I’ll join them soon.

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