We lie silently in the dark. It's very late. Way past his bedtime. He has been sick lately and the constant coughing is keeping him up. We are both utterly exhausted. Tired and groggy I pull him close to me, his hot little boy breath slow and deep. I run my hands over his head, through his ringlets and sigh deeply. "Ronan's hair is red and shiny," he says, "Mama's hair is black." He reaches up and takes a lock of my hair in his dimpled hand and begins to twirl it around his finger. He finds this to be very relaxing. Often I'll wake up in the morning to discover that I have tiny burls that need to be cut out. Eventually he lets go and begins to stroke my cheek in the sweetest and most gentle way. His little hands are so soft they are like silk. His tenderness brings tears to my eyes and he whispers..."Mama...are you sad?" And I say, "Oh no, my Ronan....I am so very happy."