I heard her calling out in her sleep. On instinct I felt the cold rush of anger at my train of thought being broken even as I got up from the chair.
Or maybe it was frustration at there being no train to derail.
She had turned through a full one hundred and eighty degrees in her cot and was lying on her dummies. Mummy had been the call and she stared at me confused through puffy, sleep-filled eyes. I gave her both dummies and watched her taste each in turn as she always does, before settling on the pink one. As she always does.
As I tried to lay her back down she dug her feet into her mattress and stoically refused to bend. She raised her arms and I picked her up and laid her head on my shoulder.
It’s ok my darling girl. Daddy’s got you safe. Sleep time now.
I’m not a believer in such things but if there is a heaven I know what it feels and smells like when it coalesces into something tangible.
My little piece of unearthly magic bundled up in a warm knot of blankets and golden hair.
Safe. Loved. Sleeping.
And just like that the train was back on the rails.