Posted by: alegra22 | December 12, 2011

lessons in temptation

Zaviera is obsessed with her father’s Ipod. I understand this obsession. With her finger, she shifts reality. An angry bird flies through the sky. A letter lifts and drops down into a new word. Music pours out of this thin object she holds in her hand. There is something dreamlike about this level of technology. It is intoxicating.

Because of this, I expected that when Dan said, ‘If you come to basketball tonight you can play with my ipod’ she would nod, jump up, forgetting all about me, my headache, and my need to rest. SHe didn’t. She sat, her eyes fixed on the carpet, and shook her head slowly.

“No, I want special time with mommy.”
“Are you sure?” Dan asked, raising the bargain-impact of his voice. “You can play with my ipod the WHOLE time.”
She shook her head, eyes still fixed on the floor.
“I’ll even buy you an ice cream.”
I watched her, thinking for sure that the temptation would be too much. I know my daughter loves me, but we’re talking about ipods and ice cream and a nearly five-year-old.

Zaviera sighed.
“No, I want to stay here. I want to be with mommy.”

I looked at Dan, confused. He shook his head.

“Okay, last chance…”

Zaviera didn’t budge. As Dan walked away to get his basketball gear, my daughter looked up at me, relieved, as if she had just passed through some tunnel of torture and I was the light on the other side.

She smiled shyly at me.

I reached out for her, gathering her small, ferocious body in my arms, and whispered, “I love you, too.”

Beneath that whisper, was another whisper.

It said,  “Dear Alegra: you have so much to learn about love and the capacity of your children.”



  1. I would have bought her a half-gallon of ice cream after that.

  2. ❤ You are cooler than ipods and ice cream. I just want to pick Zaviera up and give her tons of swirling in circles hugs for inspiring this.

  3. A thousand responses went through my mind as I put myself in your shoes. Rest was needed, I see, and yet the one response you did to your daughter was perfect. It is something she will always remember. Isn’t a mother’s life called to be a sacrifice?

  4. Personally I would have to drag Manaia (7) along to any basketball game with me! So I can see why Zaviera dumped Dan too! Plus the allure of her mum was obviously too irresistible I gather…On the other hand she most likely needed to spend some serious mummy-daughter time too. In the last couple of days Miriana (15) has been sitting in the front passenger seat while I have been driving. She has randomly reached over and grabbed hold of my hand, just for a little while. No words, just father and daughter sharing a moment with each other. Has warmed my heart. As Zaviera’s shy smile did for you. I love these times and wish I could have them more.

    • Oh D, the image if Miriana reaching out for your hand almost made me tear up! those quiet moments are my reassurance that above and beyond everything else my children are secure in my love for them.

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