He opens the bedroom door. Again.
I look over the screen. "Go back to bed."
A little voice - not a baby anymore, though never quite as big as his brother, says, "I can't because something is freaking me out." (This is his standard answer these days. Did you teach him that phrase? Because I'm pretty sure I didn't).
"Go back to bed."
"But when I look under my bed I think there are monsters down there."
"There are no monsters, buddy. Will your flashlight help you be brave?"
"No, I don't want my flashlight."
He's still standing in the doorway.
"Silas. I have read you stories, I have sung two extra songs. You have been to the potty. I have cuddled with you. Now Go To Bed."
He doesn't budge.
"I can't because of the monsters."
"What will help you be brave?"
I sigh, shut the screen, stand up. Walk into his room, wait as he climbs up onto his bed, tug at the covers so they'll cover both of us. He looks over at me, smiles, relaxes against me. He is satisfied.
"There's room for us together," he whispers.
Content, he drifts off easily.
May I always have the power to ward off the monsters. And may it always be so easy to comfort him.