It is after dark before I am home.  The house is quiet, and the children are “in bed,” having a sleepover in Audrey’s room.

            I shower, washing free the dirt from a day in the field, and when I exit the bathroom, a child waits in the kitchen with their mother.  He “can’t sleep,” and when we tell him “try again” he acquiesces without argument. 

            He walks to me and gives me a hug, “Goodnight Dad.”

            “I love you Matthew,” I answer back.

            As Bridgette and I sit at the dinner table, Audrey’s door opens once more.

            “I’m thoisty,” a little voice with high tones speaks.

            “Well come have a drink,” Bridgette responds.  He walks to his mother waiting for him, with a small cup, by the sink.  He is wearing long-legged pajama pants and no shirt—sleeping just like Daddy.

            After his drink, he too comes to me with a hug and says, “Goodnight Daddy.” 

            We hug, and I answer back, “Good night Owen, I love you.” 

            He disappears back into the dark room, closing the door behind him so that its swing sounds soft scratching across the carpet floor.

            “They don’t do that for me,” Bridgette tells me.  I am spoiled.  We all know it, but I am grateful. 

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