Daddy, Can You Tuck Me In?

At three and half years old he is capable of entering the security code on my iPad so that he can play one of his games. He knows his numbers from one to ten and is able to identify most of the letters of the alphabet. And just recently he has learned to play a pretty good game of catch.

So why is it that my son can’t wrap a blanket around his body by himself?

I can’t count how many times my son has asked either my wife or I to tuck him in. The first three hundred times he asked, I thought to myself, “when will he learn to tuck his own self in?” I mean usually we’re just talking about a foot sticking out here or a toe sticking out there.

Then it hit me last week that maybe it is not the physical act of tucking in that’s significant. Maybe it’s what tucking in represents that matters to kids.

It helps them to feel good.

It helps them to feel safe.

More than anything, it helps them to feel loved.

Tucking a child in only requires an extra moment or two. But that extra moment or two may be the difference between a fantastic dream or a frightening nightmare.

As I reflect more on how much it means to my son to be tucked in I can’t help but think that tucking in may be a metaphor that extends beyond blankets and children. Maybe tucking in can apply to those moments in our lives when we can provide something for someone that they may not be ready to provide for themselves.

We’ve all had someone provide these moments of comfort and reassurance to us and we remember how good it felt to know that we were not alone. It’s possible that we would have been fine on our own, but it’s certain that we were better for someone stepping up and helping to tuck us in.

So starting tomorrow look for ways that you can tuck others in.

tucking in





  1. I loved reading this blog. It brought back fond memories of tucking my son in when he was younger. My husband and I took turns doing it (almost fighting over whose turn it was). We loved the special moments to recap/reflect the day, read a story and just bring our family time together in a peaceful way. I guess we still do that (but in a different way).
    But, love the metaphor concept. Am grateful for the people in my life that provide that TUCK…and will look to do the same for others.
    This might be my favorite of your blogs to date. I love that I can envision your home, your family – but, also connect my own experiences/family to your writing. BLOGGING. ROCK. STAR.

  2. I don’t get to tuck my kiddos anymore…they’re a little old for that. But I still love a good night hug every night! The comfort & security of knowing that they are safe and well cared for makes everyday worthwhile. I love your analogy, there is some “tucking in” that we can do each day, as we take care of those around us! Thanks for the reminder as I go about my days to be on the lookout for folks who could use a hand, or need someone to take care of them when they cannot take care of themselves.

  3. Jon, “simple things” in life, like tucking our kids in at night, are so important. But knowing the importance of this with children is no less important with others around us in our “school lives”. In fact, finding ways to ensure people feel safe, secure, and supported is oftentimes the critical first step in building capacity to make progress.

    Thank you for challenging my thinking with yet another powerful post, Jon!


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