Ellie sat in the rocking chair in the dim light, nursing Daniel. There was no sound but the quiet creak of the chair and the quiet sucking of the baby. She breathed slowly, calmly, almost drowsing.
The baby was falling asleep. His little mouth loosened and let go of her breast.
"I feel like a mother, Daniel. You made me a mother. Isn't that funny?" She rocked and stroked the baby's thin hair, lightly, gently. "You were going to make me a mother, and you couldn't, and now you have."
The baby was snoring, a barely audible sound.
"Did your mother hold you like this, Daniel? What else did she do? What did she do to make you grow into the man I loved? How can I make you into what you should be, if I don't know what she did, one day after another, all those days until you were grown?"
A soft hissing noise came from outside the window. It was starting to rain. Ellie sat, listening to the rain and rocking the baby. Finally she bestirred herself, got up and laid Daniel gently in his crib, next to their double bed.