I had tucked Namine into bed and set about doing the dishes. I had some music on, as I usually did. I couldn’t find my headphones, so I left my phone on the counter, volume turned up enough so I could hear it over the running water, but soft enough that Jessica could hear Jennifer Love Hewitt crying on Ghost Whisperer.

It didn’t take long to finish the dishes — it never does, even though I still loathe actually having to do them — and having finished, I went back into the living room. The wall that we sit up against is opposite Namine’s bedroom wall, and I was not sitting for long when I heard rustling.

I got up from my chair, and went into Namine’s bedroom. And what did I find? Not only was Namine not sleeping, not even laying down, but she had turned on her lamp. That rustling sound I heard? Namine was reading, and that sound was the sound of a page being turned.

Now, I can appreciate a healthy love of books — and since Namine started learning to read, her love is more akin to obsession — but as a wise man once said, there is a time for all things. 10:00 at night is not the time for a six year old to be reading.

“Ah-HEM!” As I cleared my throat, Namine snapped her head up, eyes as wide as dinner plates. She was so lost in her book, she hadn’t realized I’d been standing in her doorway.

“Oh, hi Daddy!”

Hi Daddy, indeed, I thought. “Aren’t you supposed to be sleeping?”

Hesitation. “Yyyyyyeah… how did you know I wasn’t?”

“Because daddies know everything.” Yeah, right. I’ve been faking it for years, but all children think their parents know what they’re doing. I thought so of my parents, but it turns out they’ve been ad-libbing for years, too. We’re all just doing the best we can.

Namine put the book down on top of the pile next to her bed. “I guess I’ll go to sleep then.” She crawled over and turned out her light, then climbed back into bed. “Could you tuck me in again?”

I was happy to do so. I laid next to her and sang some songs, then went back out into the living room. I can’t say she fell asleep quickly; I still heard her talking and singing to herself for a while, but that’s okay.

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Husband. Daddy. Programmer. Artist. I'm not an expert, I just play one in real life.