Up. Bed.  These are the two commands I am greeted with when my 20 month old son arises before his body is ready.  The time is about 6:00a.  The blackout shades are keeping out any hint of light from the dawn.  My son has tried to put himself back to sleep and is failing mercilessly.  I hear the struggle, the whimpers, and the eventual cries on the monitor standing inches from my once sleeping head.  When he regains some degree of composure I make the trek from the front of the house to the back of the house and enter his room.  He’s relieved by my entrance but he’s far from what we’d traditionally call content.  I approach his crib slowly, cautiously, daring not to disturb the early morning equilibrium from the room nor stir his consciousness to a full wake.  I whisper gently to him, “What’s wrong, my love?”.  He pauses with dramatic emphasis and looks up at me.  His arms and hands slowly move to vertical and he utters in a baritone morning voice, “Up.”  Okay, up it is.  I joyfully bring him into my arms and hold him tight.  “What can I do for you?” I say to ease his fears.  He makes no eye contact.  Just points in the direction of the hallway from whence I came.  “Bed.”  Mommy and daddy’s bed.  That’s all he wants.  What minutes of sleep remain in him he wants to spend snuggled with mommy and daddy.  Is there any way to escape the charm of this moment?  No, and why would I want to!

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