It’s nearly 8 p.m. The children have been in bed an hour and all has long been quiet. I am drawing on a canvas in the living room. Suddenly, I hear two little voices from the girls’ room. Walking slowly to the door, I pause outside and listen.
“No pushing, Harriet,” says Norah’s voice. “Jesus wants us to be kind.”
“Oh-kay!” says Harriet.
They shouldn’t be near enough to touch each other–they sleep in twin beds. I opened the door. The girls sleep in the dark, but their clock has a night-time screen with a graphic of a moon and stars on it that glows blue. By its light I see a mound at the end of Norah’s bed. I take a slow step forward.
“Girls? It’s Mommy. Is that you there?”
Norah answers me quietly. “Yeah. We’re having a snuggle.”
And up against the foot of the bed, tucked under their Nana-quilts, heads together on Norah’s pillow, are Harriet and Norah. They are side-by-side, enjoying the glow of the moon and the presence of one another. When I come near they start to giggle and cling to each other.