Frances took a video, unbeknownst to me, of the mother of one of Gabriel's friends telling me about a family trip, while I nursed Beatrice and nodded and made sympathetic noises. It was so strange to see the exchange through her eyes. What are the nows - the experiences, the images, the feelings - that will lodge inside my children and live always there? My soft middle in a hug? The feel of each others' legs flopped over one another in summertime? The heat and smell of Beatrice's milky breath?
But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa's fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench by the hearth, the fire-light gleaming on his brown hair and beard and glistening on the honey-brown fiddle. She looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting.
She thought to herself, "This is now."
She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the fire-light and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.