Exhausted, originally uploaded by akapumba

Everyone's usually asleep when I leave for work in the morning. Our pug is curled up in her basket in the corner. She looks up and rolls a little so I can scratch her belly before I go.

My wife and my daughter are lying side-by-side. As I lean in close to say goodbye, I notice the expressions on their relaxed faces. They are exactly the same.

Mostly it's the tiny mouth, hanging open in a triangle. When Ashley is awake, the eyes give her away as being half-me. When she's sleeping, with her slack cheeks and upturned nose, she looks just like a twenty-six-years-younger clone of her mother. They're so adorable that I don't want to disturb them. I just whisper, "I love you," and tiptoe out the door.