Dear J—

There’s an old cliche that we should all be the people our dogs think we are. Last night the boy woke up screaming from a nightmare and I wonder if he dreams more vividly on hot nights, like I do; I could have sworn he said something about Voldemort but I can’t be sure at this point. None of it is very clear in the after-midnight world. We put him back to bed twice, and it was the elaborate precautions of the second time that took – switch on a light, provide a little pup tent made from spare clothesline and an old sheet, weighted down at the corners. When I got up for work a few hours later the tent was undisturbed and the light was still on so I think it looks like it worked.

The lamp uses a LED based lightbulb, so there shouldn’t be too much extra heat being dumped in, even with the sheet draped over the top. I remember my paranoid childhood and elaborate rituals to stave off bad luck (only walk on tiles with your feet aligned to the grain; this is something that served me in good stead when I was pacing rooms with the kids in their early months) or wear wool shirts to tests or chew bits on alternating sides of your mouth. You laugh – you should laugh – but here I am now and who’s to say what I did wasn’t directly responsible?

Anyhow. I wish I was worthy of the person I could be at the end of the night.


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