Posted by: alegra22 | June 15, 2011


Sol patrols the boundaries of his world, a world carefully divided into colors that stay within the lines, that don’t bleed into new, unnamed creations. Green is green. Red is red. Black is black. Each is assigned its proper place in the landscape. Zaviera pounces while the colors are still wet, hands extended, fingers like rays of light, and lands in the middle of all of it. She takes the black to draw a smiling family in the yellow. She rolls around in the red. She scampers through the house leaving green in her wake, small bursts of spring. She grabs the edges of Sol’s boundaries and lifts them up, gathers them to her, declares them her new dancing dress. Joaquin marches behind her, smiling at the sound of his feet hitting the floor. He pumps his elbows in the air, his disarming smile says everything we need to know about his future.

This time, Sol doesn’t lash out. He doesn’t attack, all hard angles and rage. He moves toward this joy as if it is soft-edged. He sweeps at it with his words, trying to coax it back into the corner, using his best imitation of Dan and I when we are wearing our finest parental skins.

He has arrived home after this weekend away somehow changed, as if during my hours of scraping glue of walls, inhaling the fine dust of sanded spackle, trailing small bits of paper and paint and curses and prayers, our family was stripped back, prepared for a new coat of color. There were difficult conversations on the phone between Dan and I, both of us tugging at the silk cord of pride, holding it gripped between our teeth, growling softly at one another – both a warning and a plea. At the moment we both let go, the silk cord unbraiding, twisting through the air silently, falling at our feet as a flag of surrender, something changed.

In the last few weeks, the message is handed to me from different voices, again and again: Our children choose us. Your children chose you.

The words have been new colors spread gently in my world. Like my daughter, I pick up their edges. I smooth them out, feeling their promises glide beneath my skin. I test the material, when I discover it doesn’t tear or dissolve, I trust it. I wrap each layer around my heart – a rainbow redefined.

My pride returns without teeth bared. There is no shame to protect, nothing to guard.

There is a quickening, a life growing within me – I have a family.

I have been chosen.



  1. So touching. I love this.

    • Thank you Beluga xoxox

  2. your words leave me speechless, nothing to say, can’t name the ache in the back of my throat. yet here i am, saying it, with the only words i know: this was beautiful.

    • Sarah,
      Thank you. I’ve held this in my mind over the last few days, wanting to come up with a clever and new way of saying just that – thank you. It means so much to me every time I get a comment, sort of like a light in the dark saying, ‘Yes, we’re here!”

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