Shhhhhh. It’s okay. I’m here, now.

It’s okay to go to you if you’re crying.

It’s okay to spend my night cradling you in my arms.

It’s okay to feed you when you wake up hungry.

(Maybe you’re not hungry. Maybe you just need reassurance and comfort. It’s okay then, too.)

It’s okay to tell you that daddy is here and that everything is going to be alright.

It’s okay to act on the protective and nurturing instincts that have helped this species survive.

I will not feel bad for taking you out of your crib, rocking you, and feeding you.

What matters is that I recognize not only your personality and temperament, but the fact that you are literally learning how to be a human.

And it’s okay to experience a level of exhaustion beyond what I ever could have imagined.

What matter is that I am here for you right now.

And at 10pm.

And midnight.

And 1:30am.

And then again at 3:00am.

Maybe it’s a nightmare. Maybe it’s a tooth. Maybe you’re lonely and need someone to sit with you and hold you during the predawn darkness. It doesn’t matter why.

Shhhh. It’s okay. I’m here, now.

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