Sleeping Around: Part 2

Dear Michael,

Now, please understand. I loved having our little guy there. I would kneel down next to you in the shadows and look at your beautiful face, watching you breathe. But I had my concerns. I expressed those concerns to Mom.

“Maybe,” I said, “Michael should sleep the night through in his room from now on. We’ve got to decide on a cutoff point.” I wanted only what was best for you. How long should we let you do your Ninja night routine? At a certain point you would need to learn to sleep by yourself, just as everyone does, and maybe the sooner the better.

I’d like to believe I raised those points with your mother calmly, logically, matter-of-factly.

But I’d probably be mistaken in such a belief. I probably got all indignant and maybe even snide about it. Sorry about that, kiddo.

Anyways, as you can well imagine, Mom would have none of it. “It’s fine,” she said. “It’s no big deal. He’ll stop coming in when he’s ready to stop coming in.”

And of course, given my imagination, I foresaw you sleeping with us in our bedroom at the age of 10, at 20, at 30, Mom all along saying, It’s fine, it’s no big deal, he’ll stop soon. You’d graduate from college, start a job, get married, even have kids, but still there you’d be, sleeping on our floor.

But one night you stopped your stealthy invasions, and the next night, too, you were nowhere to be seen. And I went to your bedroom to check on you and there you were, tucked in, secure enough alone at last.

And so you’ve slept all these years since, probably never even missing your former routine. Now that I’m older and maybe more understanding – and maybe even wishing once in a while to turn back the clock – let me offer you a reassurance straight from the heart.

You can sleep on our floor any time.

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