When I went in to kiss the kids good bye this morning, I found my daughter curled into a small, tight ball under a fairly flimsy blanket.
It’s not unusual for her to be caught in a tangle of disheveled bedclothes in the morning. At some point, she gets up to use the bathroom and when she comes back to bed she either isn’t able or can’t be bothered to arrange her covers to protect herself from the cold. So, in the mornings, I generally check on her and make sure she’s covered up.
This morning, however, she rolled over atop the rest of her blankets, and so I had to pull them out from beneath her, in a play on the classic "yank the table cloth off the table" trick. So by the time I wrestled the blankets from under her, placed her on the center of the bed (she sleeps precariously close to the outside edge and only uses about eight inches of the bed surface), and got her settled and safe, I was chuckling as quietly as possible. I covered her up, and kissed her soft on her forehead.
"Good night, Dad."
I stopped, surprised. "I love you, baby girl," I whispered.
"Love you too…" she said and drifted back to sleep.
I left on a cloud this morning. Even in her hypnogogic state, my little girl loves us.
What more reward can a parent have?
It’s going to be a good day today, even though it’s Monday.