Do you remember being five years old?

What was it like for you?
 I can see that world if I squint hard enough for just a few moments. It feels like a dream when I focus on it long enough. Saturday I came home late from an outing. This is not as common as it once was long ago, but it was different. My 2 year old son who couldn't sleep was awake enough to hear me come home, and once I went in to the bedroom to change he quietly called my name and despite rubbing his eyes weary with sleep asked me to pick him up. If kids are not a part of your life this may sound like a chore. If it sounds like a chore then in all honesty I doubt you have the heart to understand why I gently lifted him and cradled the toddler.

We went out to the couch and he laid on my chest/tummy. His breathing at first was nearly silent, but slowly a rhythm developed and after a long warm, and cuddly while he drifted off into slumber.
I however was not all there, part of me fell down the rabbit hole and for an hour I was distantly some where else, lulled by the lullaby of my sons breathing. Emotions welled up as I remembered the five year old who spent all week waiting for his father. Back then my dad worked far away, he had a job running a place that made PVC pipe and he only came home late Friday night long after the sun disappeared, and then stayed until Sunday night leaving sadly after dinner. Once he was there, even if it was midnight I needed to see him. I crawled up on to his lap or sometimes in between that space on a recliner your mom is scared to death you will be pinched in half. I remember watching three stooges with him in the dark the only ones in the house awake and drifting off to black and white hilarity.
Dad was not perfect, but I remember those long winter nights. I remember the feeling of his leather vest, and rubbing my eyes as they stung and grew heavy. I remember how cold he felt after riding through the pass outside of Truckee through the snowy mountains on his chopper. I remember stealing his blanket for my own to remember him while he was gone, and my memories of being carted with him everywhere for those 2 days while he was home. I remember feeling safe.... Its been so long since I felt safe... Mortality does that to you.
For that hour my son gave me back that moment. For just a bit I was safe, I could hear my fathers heart beat, and the whole world was still left for me to play in. If your children walk the earth I suggest you help them. I suggest that holding them, and quietly letting the night pass will one day in the dark remind them what it felt like to be safe. One day it could shine into their mortal life like a beacon to the lost.