He begs me to stay up late, and I pretend like the half hour I will give him is a big deal. He negotiates, asking for more chapters read in addition to the late bedtime. I give in and it is a relief not to have to be the bad guy.
He has that ring of chapped skin just under his smile. He refuses intervention. His eyes sparkle and his little voice is a constant, asking, prodding, arguing, laughing…
We end up reading two long chapters. He leans against my arm, his breath soft. I cover him up with a very specific ritual of blankets. I smooth his hair and tell him how much I love him. He knows, he says. I love you too.
I’m glad I read the extra chapters.


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