The single dad next door and his daughter are currently camping out in their yard, tent pitched, small campfire crackling, lantern glowing. It is single-handedly the cutest thing I have ever seen.
And I am brushing my teeth, seeing their silhouettes huddled over the lantern to get it lit, and through the window I can hear him explaining how it works - with the oil and the wick - and all of a sudden I have this image of Killian and a little girl, crowded into a little tent in their tiny yard.
And she’s whispering (rather loudly) because it’s dark out and their neighbors are probably sleeping, and Killian is patiently helping her practice tying knots while she explains to him that Grandma lived in the woods and ate rabbits - but only when she had to - and that sometimes even Grandma got scared in the forest, but she’s not scared. And Killian hums in all the appropriate places and smiles at her in just this absolutely smitten way, and he agrees that even he gets scared, so he’s glad that she is camping with him, and she just nods solemnly and says, “I know, Daddy.”
And they have their own sleeping bags - hers is so small and so pink - but an hour after they put out the fire and snuff the lantern, she crawls into his sleeping bag with him, and snuggles up against him so that her tiny nose is pressed into his neck and it is impossibly, too hot, but he just kisses her forehead because how can he not love this.
“I was worried you were scared,” she tells him, and he responds, “I’m not now, love.”
And when they wake up in the morning, she is sprawled completely across him with the sleeping bag kicked off, and it’s so endearingly like her mother, and her mouth is hanging open as she lightly snores, and he doesn’t want to move her, but the tent is baking them in the early sunlight. And when they finally pack up and head home (across the lawn), she excitedly tells her mother of their adventures - “We heard a bear!” (they didn’t) - and promises that next time, she can come, too.
And I didn’t ask for any of this.