Dad stopped in the hallway just outside Kaitlyn’s door. The room was dark except for the flashing of the television. He smiled at the ritual and peeked his head into the room.

As expected, she was asleep. He entered, turned off the tv and walked over to where she was lying. Something was wrong. He looked around the room, searching. Finally, his eyes spotted Mr. Bear and he placed him next to her – making sure to tuck him under the covers.

Another smile crossed dad’s face as he watched Kaitlyn and Mr. Bear sleep. As he had done so many times before, he leaned down, kissed her on the forehead and whispered, “Daddy loves his Princess.”

Once at the door, he turned for one last check. He was startled to see Kaitlyn sitting up in her bed, holding Mr. Bear in one hand and rubbing her eyes with the other. “Did you put Mr. Bear in my bed?”

“Yes.”

“You know, dad, I haven’t slept with Mr. Bear since I went off to college.”

“I know. He said he has missed you. He’s glad you’re home for the week.”

This time Kaitlyn smiled. “Me too.”

“Goodnight honey.”

“Goodnight, dad. Oh, and dad?”

“Yes dear?” Dad poked his head back in the door.

“I’m also glad that daddy still loves his princess.”