Posted by: alegra22 | November 4, 2012

more than


Sol is a tangle of arms and legs beneath layers of blankets.

“I don’t understand why I feel this way,” he says to me. “I don’t understand why I have this feeling in my body about school. I always worry that I won’t be able to find you and daddy again.”

I climb on to the bed and immediately there are two bodies rolling toward me, searching to claim territory.

Zaviera’s fingers press into my arm, flutter down my cheek, her whisper-breath warm in my ear, “Mommy, I have things that worry me…”

Sol’s voice goes up a few notches in volume – his way of competing with the way Zaviera can blend into me.

“I don’t understand why the weekends have to be so short. Two days isn’t anything.”

I untangle hands and feet against protests and rearrange them so that I can stretch my body out.

“I don’t think what you’re feeling is so strange,” I say to Sol. “I just think that you feel things in a bigger way than most people – kind of like a super power. I think it’s normal to feel afraid when you are away from your family.”

“You mean that most kids don’t have feelings about losing their parents or getting lost, instead they might have a little feeling of fear and then think, ‘oh, I really want to play soccer or basketball’ and then they forget about everything else.”  His hands are up in the air, measuring feelings in the shadows of the bedroom. Zaviera is restless next to me, conjuring her own stories to stomp out Sol’s.

“Yes, people feel things differently. You feel things in a really big way and that is something special about you. You feel it in your body in a way that is very loud. It’s called being sensitive and it’s gift.”

Sol has two smiles; one that makes me want to look away because of the effort it takes, and one that I want to turn my face toward but don’t have to because I can feel it.  It is like the sun. Warm. Pervasive and powerful.

We talk for another stretch of time, my children using topics like ladder rungs to climb up over one another, and then I say, “Okay, it’s time.”

Zaviera volunteers to pray and Sol whispers, “Will you hold me, Mommy?”

As he asks, he is already reaching for my arm and pulling it over his thin body. His head is finding its place on my chest.

“God, I just want to thank you for this lovely day,” my daughter echoes the cadence of the prayers I speak over them, night after night, and I find my spine softening into the mattress, my lungs expanding. “I want to pray that you give our family good thoughts in our mind while we sleep. I pray you put happy thoughts into Sol’s mind and take away all of his scary thoughts. Let us wake up happy. Amen.”

I think of Dan and Joaquin out in the lounge and how when the first two are asleep, I will find my husband and youngest asleep.

I will wake up my husband and say, “Everything is going to be okay. More than okay.”



  1. I enjoy reading your stories. Your whanau time, well the way you describe it, reminds me of a whanau of Octopi (plural?), twisting tentacles all over the place, sticking to your body and stretching you all over the place…in a good way. It’s wonderful that your children are able to express themselves with their words to you…in their own unique way of course…just as your words paint a thousand pictures. Always wonderful reading.

  2. I love that your family sleeps in a tangle.. We do too – in a big tangle like Wild Things. I love Sol’s description of sensitivity as being a super power – it so is!
    God bless your little people – fears and hopes and dreams and superpowers and all.

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