Posted by: alegra22 | July 28, 2011

a passing mood

Yesterday, Zaviera came home in one of her moods. I call them her ‘female moments.’ She was pure emotion from the moment she stepped into the kitchen, pulled off her winter hat and wailed, “I waaaaaaaant yogurt raisins!” Normally I would ask her to rephrase the question, use a different tone, add a ‘please’ but this was not the time.

“Oh sweetpea, what’s the matter?” I asked, scooping her into my arms. What followed was only more wailing that trailed off into a snuffling in my neck. “Uh-oh. You’re in a mood, aren’t you?” She nodded, wiping snot in my hair.

Later, we stood out in the yard, taking a break from moving a pile of river stone. We were taking advantage of the break in rain to landscape in preparation for putting our house on the market. Zaviera’s smile dropped and she pointed at our sad, steel garden shed, “Are we going to leave this behind when we go to our new home?”

“Yes, sweetheart. But it’s okay. It will be happy with its new people. Besides, you don’t have to worry, this isn’t going to happen right away. Daddy and I will tell you when we’re moving and we can say goodbye to everything.”

I could already imagine what that day would look like: Zaviera whispering to the stones, the plants, the deck, the gate, the windows, the melons ‘lemons’, “Goodbye. Mommy has to leave you now, but you’ll be okay. I’ll still love you and you’ll be taken good care of. But I have to go to a new home now.”

She mourned our van when the transmission died on us. She celebrated when we brought it home. Arms out, she fell onto it with kisses, “Welcome home! I love you!”

Sol walked over to Zaviera with rock dust on his hands. “It’ll be okay,” he said in his grown-up voice. Joaquin picked up a large rock and threw into the wheelbarrow, the metal pang! rocketing through the dusk.

Somewhere between hauling more stones to spread around the yuccas, Zaviera’s precious yogurt raisins ended up scattered in the dust. She stood, wilted, pointing at them as if they’d betrayed her. I decided it was time for a hot bath and long movie.

As I made dinner, a door slammed and Sol looked at me, confused, as we heard Zaviera declare, “I’m not talking to anyONE! No ONE is allowed in my ROOM! So don’t even TRY!” The wails began.

“What’s wrong with her?” Sol asked.

I shrugged. The wailing continued. And then there was a pause. The door opened, Zaviera’s voice channeled itself down the hallway. “I’m not talking to anyONE! Especially not SOL!”

Sol looked at me and smiled.

“Go get her!” I said, smiling back.

Sol pounded on the door, “Why are you in such a bad mood Zaviera? I guess I’m going to have to watch this  movie alllll by myself then! I guess I’m going to have to have all this fun without you because you’re in such a bad mood.”

The door opened. Sol yelled, “Gotcha! Hahahah…I see your smile! There’s a smile!”

I stood in the kitchen, listening to Sol use his ‘Mommy and Daddy’ voice, the words and tone we have used on him to move him through a grumpy mood, and I realized that something has shifted. The fears we’ve had around Sol are falling away from us. His anxiety is still present. He has been waking up worried about changing classrooms next year. We have reassured him that we will walk him from classroom to classroom, we can trace the path that will lead him to his father over and over until he feels safe. His Adrianne Monk-ish quirks are still ever-present and thank goodness for that…what would the world be without its Sheldon and Monk characters? But something has emotionally shifted. He came home after school yesterday and threw his arms around me and kissed me.

We are learning one another’s life language and some days, it feels like the conversation pours out in song.








  1. words that continue to bring life to the very things we disregard. awesome.

  2. Beautiful. Your kids make me smile : )

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