Posted by: alegra22 | August 14, 2009

fear of drowning

fear of drowningThe day is a quiet gray. The washing machine hums and clucks. Rain trails down the windows, connecting from drop to drop. Zaviera sleeps on the couch, her arms flung up above her head like she is dreaming beneath the sun’s heat. At her age, Sol still occasionally needed his arms swaddled tightly around his body, the blankets tucked in, his world contained, reassured. Zaviera has always surrendered to sleep as though exposing her soft underbelly is her purpose for being born. It is a warm, strong limbed faith she contains beneath her skin. A faith that often reaches into me and holds me captive. There are moments when I am happy to exist only as a witness to her wild embodiment.

Zaviera has been sick for a week. The vomit-out-both-ends-with-with-a-temp-of103.7 type of sick. When the virus has not been shaking her around in its maw, making her cry out in shock and betrayal, she has been rolling around in the special priviliges of being the Sick One. Today we climbed into the bath with one another and as she doted over me, her big Mommy Doll, I realized how many moments in a day slip beneath me. My children are running water. They are the tides and the undertow, the cresting waves and the horizon at sunset. I often find myself struggling in the impact zone of the noise and demands, my limbs exhausted, my mind full of roaring. I work my way against the currents, out to the peak, to wait for one of those waves where I meet my children, cresting in their presence before I am plunged back down, holding my breath, hoping I don’t drown.

Last night I crept into their bedrooms and watched them sleep. I asked for forgiveness for the moments of impatience and exhaustion. I asked to be absolved from regret. I asked that my children know, as one sleeps with his lips soft, his fists clenched, and the other with her arms flung over her head as though she is falling from a great height, that they understand how much I love them.

There are moments when I make it out past the crashing and churning, when I wait for the next wave of their beauty to come rolling towards me, when I dream of having underwater lungs. I dream of being able to slip beneath the surface and breathe in the love that I often fear will drown me if I don’t keep swimming.



  1. 103…damn!

    Ok I got my fix..:)

  2. Her temp was hovering at 103.7 for three days…it was horrible.

    And thank you for getting me to write, it was good to just pound this out on the keyboard. Reminded me of how important it is just to do it. I am going to try to start blogging more regularly, at least 2x a week like I used to…now that the nausea is gone and decks are built and driveways laid there are no excuses! ;o)

  3. I really like your posts. Each one is like a literary essay full of imagery and figurative language! I enjoy reading your writing so much that I want to ask you if you’d like to write an essay for a new magazine on motherhood and nature that I’ve created. It’s called The Motherhood Muse ( I haven’t formally launched the site yet as the design for it and the blog are still being created, and the first issue of the magazine will come out in January. Once you have time to check it out, please let me know if you’d like to write an essay for the magazine and/or blog. I’d love to publish a piece by you.

    • Kimberly,
      I would be honored! Just let me know what/when and I would be happy to write something for you.

  4. You are such a beautiful creature inside and out. What neat little things you have created and this next one will make the trio a mischievous force to be reckoned with. Missing you in monumental proportions today. Many bright-orange-flotation-arm-floaty-things-for-those-days-when-the-tides-get-a-pinch-too-deep hugsies

  5. I hope by this time she’s feeling better.

    This was so poignant and beautiful, despite the sick parts.

    I just started reading my feeds through my Google reader. It’s like a found a treasure trove of awesome. I haven’t been reading in so long, but it feels so lovely and snugglesome to have the words of someone like you to wrap around me.

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