A vivid but chaotic dream is interrupted by the sound of the bedroom door slowly sweeping across the carpet.
I am bought quickly into the room by the sound.
I open an eye and can see the door opening, but as yet no figure in the doorway.
The adrenalin and dull shock from the rude awakening quickly subside. I see the hazelnut curls on the top of my daughters head bob past the end of the bed, her footfall padding lightly on the carpet.
She rounds the bed post and her full face comes into view. She is full of sleep and there is no emotion on her face.
I don’t want to wake up yet. I don’t want the embrace of sleep to leave.
I hold my hand out to my daughter and close my eyes. I hear her feet pad a few more steps on the carpet and next thing I feel is her grip tighten around my wrist as she pulls herself into bed.
She collapses next to me and snuggles in tight, breathing loudly. She hasn’t quite yet worked out the concept of personal space, and while her head lies awkwardly across my jaw, and I receive a couple of accidental knees and elbows in delicate areas, her final position is comfortable enough for me to draw her in close.
She sighs loudly, contentedly. She appears to be in no immediate rush to go downstairs today.
She shuffles a little bit in the bed and nestles finally and comfortably in the crook of my shoulder. My face is now buried deep in her forest of curls.
I love being in here. It is soft and warm and smells sweet and earthy. I gently run my face through her billowy cloud of curls.
I chance a look at her, and her eyes are shut. Her breathing is soft and rhythmic, her chest rising with every breath, her warm outbreath kissing my shoulder. She is still and content. I close my eyes and my mind starts to wander.
I can hear morning birdsong outside, carried through the open window on a warm summer breeze which gently disturbs the curtains. In the distance there is the bark of a dog and the hum of a car engine. I can feel myself drifting, the warm embers of sleep burning on.
I have no idea how long we lie together, it doesn’t matter. I am snuggled up close to my daughter and we are still and quiet and entwined. She is safe, and warm and loved.
I don’t want this moment to end.