Kids thrive on routine. Who knows why. Maybe it gives order to their world which, come to think of it, is inhabited by giants speaking a foreign language who drive shiny giant-mobiles and drink and eat things they can’t and take them to places with aisles of cans or teachers or swings and they never know from day to day where they’ll end up.

On Monday, Aunt Sissy (Hugh’s ride home from school everyday at 3:15pm)  did not show up (Mommies knew, Hugh didn’t). So when everyone else went to car line, Hugh went to a new room with different people and toys (after-school). He cried, but then adapted as kids do.

That night, though, he didn’t sleep well. And last night, he woke up at 4:30am. I waited to see if he would fall back asleep, but at some point, I could tell he was vertical. And I could hear his cry, “Mama!”

So I went in his room, picked him up, bounced him into calmness, then slept with him for 30 minutes in his big-boy bed adjacent to the crib. At 5am, I put him back in the crib and he slept until 7am.

Even though I would’ve preferred to sleep the night through without waking, I don’t think I would trade those 30 minutes of smelling his warm head and holding his red-pajamed chubby body against mine. In a startling world, it’s the best I can offer.