The clock silently reveals that the time is two o’clock in the morning but nobody knows that because everybody is sleeping.
A sixth sense tells your slumbering mind that something has changed. A hand carefully nudges your shoulder to confirm this.
“Dad.” A whispered voice enters your conscience and you slowly open one bleary eye.
“Dad.” There it is again.
Your vision slowly focuses on the young boy standing by your bed.
“I was having a nightmare”
No further words are said. No further words are needed.
You close the eye and pull back the cover.
A small body climbs into the bed and you feel its warmth as it snuggles up into you. You wrap your arms around the child and pull him closer.
Four seconds later, your son is snoring.
Five minutes should be enough.
You wait. You can barely stay awake but you’re quite enjoying the moment. Perhaps another two minutes.
Wordlessly you pull back the duvet and tap his shoulder. He knows what to do, he’s been here before.
You follow him back to his own bed and tuck him in.
He smiles as you kiss his cheek and is asleep before you can walk through his door.
Being a father can be hard.
It really is worth it.