She's crying, standing in her crib, lit only by the streetlamp from outside our house.
"What's the matter, sweetie? Did you have a bad dream?"
She collapses in her crib, thrashes, wails louder.
I move towards her crib. "I know, sweetie. I'm sorry. Daddy's here."
"Mommy's sleeping, Beatrice. Daddy's here."
Bea thrashes some more and then settles, stroking her fuzzy blanket. She sucks her thumb.
"I love you, sweetie. It's okay. You can go back to sleep now."
She raises her right arm, wants me to stroke it lightly. Mommy usually does that, but sometimes she lets me.
She yawns. "Yes, you can go back to sleep, Bea."
Because no matter what, I'll never fail you or Bryce as a father. I'll make mistakes for sure; fail at this and that and the other. Already had plenty of it before you ever arrived.
But never as a father.
No worries. Daddy's here.
She sucks her thumb, closes her eyes, exhales.
"I love you."
I can't go back to sleep.