Tuesday, 3 February 2009


From a deep, dark slumber, I enter that semi-conscious state which is neither awake nor asleep.

I realise that there is an intruder in my bed ushering a chill into my comfortable close cocoon.

An arm gently encloses my neck. A body presses close. I feel a tumult of tiny tender kisses on my face and forehead. Subliminally I identify the intruder and respond by enveloping her in a fond embrace. Recognising an unfathomable depth of emotion, I express myself inadequately: "I love you, sweetheart."

"I love you too."

A tiny voice; simply spoken; unquestionable sincerity.

She relaxes, comfortable in my embrace. Soon her breathing becomes regular.

She is fast asleep.

Fully awake now, taking care not to awake her, I peer at the red digital display of the bedside clock. 4.20 a.m.

Slowly, so as not to disturb her, I remove her arm and I arise. Now upright, I look at her as the moon's metallic lustre bathes the room. The tousled hair, the unblemished, smooth skin and the cherubic face that only a three year old girl can possess. I cannot describe the depth of my love for her.

Gently, I lift her; she wraps herself around me. I take her to her bedroom. I lower her to her bed where she assumes the foetal position while I surround her with her Cinderella-decorated duck down duvet.

"I love you daddy."

Then she sleeps.

Back in bed, I wonder: how could anyone deliberately hurt such a little person?

Yet it happens.


Kathy said...

You're right. It does happen. I just wrote about a two year old that was murdered by her parents in my neck of the woods. It's just heartbreaking. I don't understand how anyone can hurt a child. Your story was lovely. It really touched my heart ♥

Anonymous said...

Hi Robert,

I love those moments. For me the 3 year old is at that stage. She is so loving and cuddly. The boy just kicks a space between me and my wife in bed until we are bookends. The 5 year old is alot less affectionate now unless she's after something.

I hate to think of some of the recent news items- Baby P being the most obvious. These people should never ever get out. You would hope it could be stopped in the first place but if people are that sick in the head then they will do it. The only thing that can be done is lock them away forever. They make my stomach turn.

All the best


rosiero said...

Oh - so beautifully written - I nearly cried. You are right. How could anyone hurt such trust and such innocence?

Rachael Hale said...

That is lovley Robert x

khaye said...

Touching! There are so many points of reflection on this post....

Jenn said...

The vulnerability of children is overwhelming. I am not a mother, but I have felt twinges of what you are talking about with my niece.

One of the reasons I am afraid to have children is my fear that I could not protect them. The world is a cruel place, yet ironically, and conversely, children make the world less so.

All we can do is hope or pray.

Bookworm said...

Thanks for sharing this. It was very beautifully written and brought tears to my eyes. :)

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Very deep but very interesting. You capture the mood well.

Robert said...

Thank you everyone very much for taking the time to comment. I get really upset when I hear of children being abused/murdered, particularly by their parents. They are so helpless, reliant on adults, faces full of hope and anticipation... How many times have you heard "Baby X was always smiling..." That's what little children do, no matter what is done to them. It must take a special talent to destroy them.