We reconnect. Even if we were just butting heads 10 minutes earlier, something laying side by side in the dark room brings us back together. She snuggles in. I scratch her back. We talk about the day.
In the quiet of the night, I get a little insight into her world as she processes her day. She becomes reflective. She apologizes for incidents early in the day, some that I'd already forgotten about. She tells me about her day. She asks questions about things that happened at school, giving me a peek into her mind and a chance to help her understand and reframe events.
Someday, hopefully many many somedays away, she'll want to fall asleep alone. For now, I happily give up 20 minutes of my evening to lay beside her as she leaves the waking world for dream land, hoping she feels her mama's love as she drifts to sleep.