"Isaac! Isaac!" 3:32 am. Kate's voice was coming through the baby monitor loud and clear, calling for her brother. Unusual on 2 counts - first, she hardly ever wakes at night, and second, it's always Mom she calls for.
As I slowly began the walk to her room, I could hear her. "Garrett! Somebody help me."
I opened her door to find her standing in her bed. She seemed surprised and confused that I was there. I picked her up and she wrapped her little arms tightly around my neck and laid her head on my shoulder. "I thought you died."
Ah. Now it makes sense. She had been having a nightmare. "Someone drove me away from you." She was trembling, and I manuevered into the rocking chair in her room somewhat blindly. It was dark, and her little body was hard to see around as she continued to cling to me. After a few minutes of rocking in the chair, I pulled her back to look at her face and explained that everything was ok and we could go back to sleep.
Her lower lip protruded in textbook fashion and she said "I don't want you to leave me." I told her I would stay. After a while in the chair together, her breathing slowed and the trembling stopped. I asked if she was ready to sleep. She was. I gave her a kiss, snuggled her into her blankets and left the room, very tired, but deeply satisfied that my little daughter was comforted and resting again.
I may not have the power to finish everything on my to-do list daily or keep my house as clean as I would like. I don't have any fame to speak of and my circle of influence in this world is fairly small, but as a mother, I have the ability to dispel fear with my presence, and that's powerful stuff.