Holding Your Hand To Sleep


            So stubborn and strong-willed, yet still slightly scared, you call out for Daddy to hold your hand.
            So in the darkness next to your bed, I feel your tight clutch. Tiny fingers curl around mine. It’s that stressful toddler bedtime again, and we’re having to do double duty with our twins tonight.
            Normally I’d be cursing and anxious to get back down to my computer to do some work. But something about that hand holding mine makes me reconsider.
            I don’t think of the obligation.
            I suddenly think of the amazing gift I have.
            I am the first guy to hold your hand.
            The fingers twitch to make sure I’m still there.
            I am the first man in your life.
            I hear the faint breathing beside me.
            I am the first boy to fall for you.
            I can picture your slightly curly hair that you take after me. Those big, breath-taking eyes you take after mommy. Your sensitive soul. Your obstinate disposition.
            You are amazing in every single way.
            Like your older sister before you, and your twin sister who came out seconds after you did, you will always have my hand and my heart. I don’t have the patience that I wish I had. I don’t have the strength I always wanted to carry. I don’t have the wisdom so many other fathers seem to relish in.
            But I’m the only father you have. Flawed, fiery, so often frustrated.
            Yet always there. Willing to give you my hand whenever you need it.
            I hope one day, a stronger and wiser and more patient man holds that precious hand of yours.
            I hope he realizes how privileged he is to do so.
            I hope he sees your heart and your soul in that embrace.
            I hope he knows how brilliant and beautiful you are. Just like your sisters and your mother.
            I hope for the best as I hold your hand to sleep.
            I pray that God will watch over you like He’s watched over me.
            Ever patient. Ever knowing. Ever loving.
            The kind of father a man like me can only dream of being.
            But I’ll never let that hand of yours go. Know that.
            Know that every time you go to sleep.
            Know that every time I take a breath. 

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