The little voice rips me from my sleep, and not even fully concious I stumble out of bed and across the hall. He is sitting up, hair mussed and covers in a pool at his feet.
“Mommy, I saw a bug.”
I look for a bug. There isn’t one, though in my current state I have to admit that I may not notice if a hippo was in his room. I search the floor in vain, sweeping my fingers across the floor. There is nothing.
“I think it went under the rug,” he says, watching me.
I lift up the rug and once again, there is nothing.
“There’s nothing there, buddy.”
“Well, maybe it crawled over there somewhere.”
I refuse to search for bugs in the middle of the night. I look halfheartedly around the room and still see nothing. He is wide awake, and begins to talk about the story that we had read before he went to sleep. I put up my hand, blink in the nightlight’s glow.
“You need to go back to sleep. Here, I’ll cover you up.”
I fix his blankets, which is a very deliberate and important job. He grins at me from the nest of covers.
I stumble back to bed. I am fully aware that there was no bug, that he just wanted to make sure I was still there and he wanted someone to fix his covers. In an hour, we will be up for the day. I try and fall back asleep. Across the hall, I hear him singing softly to himself. The morning comes too soon.