On Christmas Eve, I came over to my mom's place so her caregiver could go home for the night. I wasn't looking forward to it. I had been up since 3 a.m., and I know from experience that I never get much sleep because she gets up frequently.
About 10 p.m., I went in and she was rolled over in her bed with her face against the security rail.
I touched her hand--it was baby soft--and said, "Mom, move back over. Yu're going to fall out."
She woke up briefly and smiled and grabbed my hand. "Am I dreaming this?" she said. I smiled and said no.
"My baby girl," she said. And she went back to sleep.
I dozed until about 3 when I heard her again and went in.
Did she need to get up? No.
Did she need anything? No. No, wait. Yes.
"I need you," she said.
So I said, "Why don't I get in bed with you?" She nodded and so I did. She reached over stroked my hair. "My Christmas bedfellow," she said.
All at once, I was 5 years old again. The stockings were hung on the sofa with care, and I knew in my heart that Christmas was here.