He wakes, fitfully stirring, whimpering in his sleep.
The whimpering escalates, into crying, shattering the peaceful night.
Reaching for me, and screaming his outrage, rubbing his soft cheek against mine. We pace the floor, waiting for Dave to come with the ibuprophen.
Then we rock, Ben and I, in the still of the night. Curled together in the glider, a sheet pulled around us to keep the draft of the air conditioner off us, Rocking, rocking, rocking. Tuneless humming, because it is almost 3 in the morning, and I cannot think of a song to sing to him.
At first, he's alert, laughing at me in the darkness, touching my face, then as he grows sleepy, he's gently bobbing his head against my shoulder, reaching up to caress my cheek. Seeking, seeking until he finds what he's looking for.
And crams his finger so far up my nostril that it still hurts.