Last night I put Ethan to bed, and he asked me to put my arm around him to help him go to sleep.
Every time he does it I feel blessed: first, because it makes me feel needed, which is one of the best parts of being a father; and second, because I know that each time he asks may be the last.
He's eight years old, and like Samuel before him, he's at the tipping point between little kid and medium kid. It's a great time to watch him becoming stronger, more agile, more confident.
And yet it's nice to know that in the midst of all this growing up, I'm still needed now and then to bring him a sense of safety and comfort, late at night, when the monsters wage their last hurrah before their extinction.