Zia Hassan

Figure You Out

I’m lying under my covers and it’s warm. It’s snowing outside, lightly.

Out of nowhere you’re crying, and I feel this sense of duty to get up, to go calm you, to feed you, to change you. I don’t always, because I’d like to give you space to figure out how to get back to sleep on your own. But there is an instinctual immediate feeling of duty (not obligation). 

Waking up will change. It’s not pleasant now. You usually wake up moaning or sometimes crying for a few minutes before figuring out where you are. Eventually waking up will be pleasant. It is pleasant for me to wake up next to your mom every day, for instance.

But when you wake up late at night and I hear the crackling of your little voice through the monitor, my reaction is primal. Unlike the feeling I get when I emerge from bed to go to work every morning, I’m ready to rip off the covers and barrel into the room completely naked, without even putting my glasses on, to see what it is you might need. Work is obligation. Being your dad is not work, it’s my duty.

It doesn’t matter what time it is, how cold it is, or how comfortable I am. I will always be there to figure you out.