Posted by: alegra22 | July 25, 2011

today and tomorrow

Today Dan tackled me in the kitchen, pinning my arms to the floor and tickling me. I called out to my boys several times, “Sol! Joaquin! Come help me!” Sol mumbled something about being busy, he’d come rescue me as soon as he found the toy he was looking for. Joaquin’s footsteps padded down the hallway pausing somewhere along the way, distracted. Dan smiled and attacked.

I called for my reliable savior, the ultimate weapon, “Zaviera! Help me!”

She was through the door and launched at Dan as if she’d been waiting for the summons. Her small hands grasped his head. She pulled and grunted and threw her entire body weight into it.

“Get off my mommy!”

I saw her mouth open when she spotted an exposed area of flesh between his neck and shoulder.

“No biting!” I warned just as she bared teeth and aimed for attack.

She looked at me, smiled, let go of his head and stepped back, considering her strategy. Joaquin had found his way to us and started hollering and dictating merrily, waving his hands in the air, bouncing up and down, not needing explanation or invitation to join in the festivities.

Dan used the distraction to dig his fingers into my ribs.

At my squeal, Zaviera made her move. She turned around and bent over so that her wonderful little bottom was directed at her father’s face and said, “Wait for it…”

And then she tried to fart. I’ve never been more sure that my daughter is going to rule the world one day.

Today Sol handed me Marty Stouffer’s Wild America and said, “Can you not start it yet? I need to get my notebook, pencils, and sharpener so I can take notes and draw everything. I’m going to spend the day learning everything I can about all of the animals.” He paused, his hand held high as if to stop me, his right foot forward, his body torn between two different thoughts. “You promise you’ll wait until I say? I don’t want to miss anything.”

“I promise,” I said. “Go! Hurry!”

I watched my oldest child gather his notebook and pencils to his chest. I watched him sit on the couch, arranging his materials around him. He spent two hours carefully sketching the white-tail deers, the otters, the snakes. I walked over to him at one point to admire his notes.

“I love you Sol Clarke,” I said. “You are an amazing boy.”

His smile made me remember a girl who once decided she was going to learn everything she could about creatures who lived in rivers and ponds. Her notebooks filled with scribbles and illustrations and scientific experiments. She understood God in the smell of algae, the solidity of slate beneath her feet, the cool glass of a mayonnaise jar she pulled through reservoir water, searching for miracles.

“That’s me,” I said to Dan. “Sitting there on the couch. That’s a little piece of me.”

Today as we loaded the children into the van, Zaviera flung open the door and gleefully declared, “GOODBYE WORLD!!! We are all going to diiiiiiiiiiiiiiie!” She slammed the door shut and smiled at me.

Her irreverance and joy was the splitting of an atom. I became undone, recreated in its presence.

And tomorrow, it will happen all over again.



  1. Your kids are the best. Thanks for sharing them with us. 🙂

    • I’m pretty smitten 😉

  2. She’s quite fierce. :o) I wonder what God has planned for her.

    • She is fierce and also incredibly gentle/kind…I’m in awe of the combination in her and can’t wait to see how it unfolds and what her gifts are.

  3. I love this line: “No biting!” I warned just as she bared teeth and aimed for attack.

    Your kids are awesome and destined for greatness! Your stories of Zaviera make me laugh all of the time…including the pictures you share of her and Sally together.

    • The biting thing has always made me laugh. It’s this pure animal instinct in her! She’s done that since she was a baby – if everything else fails, bare the teeth!

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