the pat


Sparrow has a bed in our room that we put in there so that she could have a place to sleep that was close to us.

It’s a nice little bed….comfortable and only feet from where we sleep.

Some nights….like if it’s cold… or she wakes up and can’t get back to sleep right away….or if it’s a Monday….or maybe a Tuesday….or Wednesday….or….maybe Thursday….maybe Friday….or maybe it’s the weekend or something….she could end up sleeping in our big bed.

It’s funny how small the big bed feels when you have a little person sleeping in the middle.

Last night, Sparrow was sleeping in the middle when I went to bed.

I went to bed a little earlier than usual….something about the day of slipping and sliding….making the big executive decisions about which icy hills might kill me and where it was safe to deliver the mail….dealing with a scanner that stopped working early in the route….something about all that made me tired….so tired….really tired….sleepy… I went to bed early.

I clue in pretty quickly that Sparrow is sleeping in the middle.

Meryl Streep played a character in a movie where she got to say the line, “DINGOES ATE MY BABY!!”

I don’t want to be able to say, “I ROLLED OVER ONTO MY BABY!!”… I pay attention.

Anyway, a little after laying down beside her in the bed, she stirred a little and then I felt a little hand reach over and pat me on the shoulder…and then she rolled back over and kept on sleeping.

I don’t have many situations in my life where my presence is a comfort to anyone…but this little girl was satisfied knowing that I was there with her….and that was enough.

That’s a good feeling to be a comfort to someone.

I guess that I must be a comfort to more people than just Sparrow.

I’m probably a comfort in ways I don’t know or understand….maybe.

I don’t really know….most of the time.

I guess that us “grownups” (and I’ll include myself in that group….I try and pay my bills….do all the other stuff that real grownups worry about) have so much on our plates that we don’t let each other know when someone else’s presence is a comfort.

We’re too busy for a simple pat to say that we notice that the other person is even in the room.

(I guess that in the wrong context, a “simple pat” might be considered harassment….so maybe we have reason to be a little bit guarded….)

These little kids….they let it all out….nothing too crafty or tricky going on with them….most of the time.

And…that pat….a little pat at the beginning of the night that said “There you are…and I’m OK”

That was good for me,too….I needed that pat.

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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