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My son stood in our doorway and spoke into the dark.  “Remember, Mom?” he admonished. “You said you were going to tuck me in.”

It was 5:02 a.m.

I’d last heard this reminder at 3:48 a.m.  And before that 3:10 a.m.  And before that, sometime between one and two.

I flung the covers that hadn’t even warmed and straggled after my son–my son who’d whispered a sixth time into the same doorway of the same night what he’d thought I’d forgotten.

Only I hadn’t.

At each request I had tucked his growing body back into bed. I’d curled the blue blankets under his toes.  I’d wrapped his shoulders like presents.  And I’d left a tired kiss in his hair.

But he hadn’t remembered.

I wobbled down the stairs this morning to the tune of an old friend.  Stand By Me.  And then I added a couple verses of my own.

When the night has come

And my room is dark

And my night light is the only light I see

No I won’t be afraid, no I won’t be afraid

Just as long as you tuck, tuck me in.

And mommy, mommy, tuck me in, oh now tuck me in

tuck me in, tuck me in

If my room that I look around

Should scare me to death

And the shadows on the wall jump around

I might cry, I might cry, yes I might shed a tear

Because I need you to tuck, tuck me in.


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