Melting

I am awake. It's about 4:00a.m. The rain and wind have me worried about the roof again. There are a few water stains on my office ceiling and sometimes a trickle down the inside of a window. My son's room has another spot. I think the flashing around the chimney may need some work. I am anxious, and I am awake. And behind the worry about the roof, come all the others. This is pretty normal. The anxiety a routine.

Will is awake. It's a little after 4:30a.m. He has a cold and a bad cough. It wakes him up, and so he makes his way over to our room. He is remarkably chipper, and he politely requests cough medicine. My wife obliges. I use his interruption and the light from the bathroom to check the ceilings. No new stains in either room. No trickle down the inside of the window.

Cough medicine distributed. Potty breaks all around. Will scampers to our bed toward the promise of a snuggle. We are all awake. Will talks for a spell about something I cannot remember. I am already trying to doze off. He falls silent and begins gently rubbing my cheeks. He combs the hair away from my forehead. These gestures we have performed a thousand times. And then he grabs my nose, just as gently. This, I think, is pure joy. I am melting.

And then he falls asleep, and so do I.