I got back from my trip to Portland last night after the kids were already in bed. Around 4:30 in the morning the creaking of our bedroom door woke me up and I heard the light padding of Ruthie’s footsteps across the carpet. I played dead, lying on my side with my back to the edge of the bed. I heard Ruthie evaluating the situation – Bryan’s snoring, the extra body in bed, unmoving. I heard her come along my side, and then felt her gentle yet steady hand press against my back, as if varifying that she wasn’t dreaming my existence in the bed, that her mama was really home. Then she pulled her hand away, padded out of the room, and closed the door behind her. Moments later I heard the click of her light switch, then silence.
I’m not sure I’ve had a full understanding of what a pillar I am to my children, but as Ruthie walked out of our room, satisfied in knowing that I was home, I began to get a clue.