I lay down next to Tuck sometimes as he's falling asleep. Nighttime gets the best of him sometimes... of both of us, really.
He closes his eyes, almost asleep. Then he opens them slowly, pulling himself awake again, just to make sure I am still here.
I am still here.
He wants to go to sleep; he is so very tired. But his imagination mocks him, telling him that if I am out of sight, then he has lost a second parent.
He starts to roll over with his back to me.
"Mommy, when I say your name, and then I don't say anything else, can you just say you are here?"
"I can do that, buddy."
He rolls over. He tests me. "Mommy?"
And then nothing else. That's my cue.
"I'm here, Tuck."