Sometimes, as a parent, I have wanted to tuck my children into my pocket and keep them safe.
Grace and I have come up with a kind of opposite plan.
She had a nightmare Sunday night and then woke in the dark of Monday morning as her alarm sounded at 5:50 a.m. She pulled on some clothes and walked out into the cold black morning. She unlocked her bike and rode to the swimming pool, fearing the demons from her nightmare and the real things that lurk in life.
Later that morning, she told me about her bad dream and her fear riding to the pool alone in the dark.
"Call me," I said. I teach at ungodly early hours and I set my alarm for 5 each morning.
"Call me and put me in your pocket when you ride," I said.
So, for the past two mornings, she has phoned. We chat for a minute while she unlocks her bike and then she slips me in her pocket while she rides across campus. I lay the phone down and put it on speaker so I continue exercising or flat ironing my hair. I hear muffled sounds as she travels.
When she arrives with a clank, she takes the phone from her pocket and says, "I'm here."
Sometimes I can hear other people walking past on their way to the pool or early workouts.
"Ok. I love you." Typical mom speak. "Have a good day."
Then she's on her own, but for awhile, I'm right there in her pocket.
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