AW

A Rainbow in the Clouds

In Family, Pursuit of Happiness on September 3, 2010 at 3:32 pm

While driving my little one to pre-school yesterday, I rounded the bend and saw something that I had never seen before.  A storm pummeled our area the previous night, and when the rain finally stopped, what was left in its wake was nothing short of spectacular.  A majestic rainbow emerged from the ground, creating what looked like a bridge to the billowing clouds that hovered over the morning sky.  I tried desperately to point it out to it out to my daughter, but her focus was elsewhere.

Although the rain was no longer falling from the sky, a morning mist filled my daughter’s eyes as she contemplated what her second day of school was going to be like.  She had fun the first day, but somehow the fun moments had all but dissipated from her mind, and all that remained was the thought of being away from us all day long.  Try as I might, I was unable to convince her that she was going to have a good day, and that we would be back for her soon.

When we pulled into the parking lot, she realized that she was not going to be able to talk me out of bringing her to school.  I coaxed her in to taking some deep breaths to try and relax.  In between the breaths, with tears rolling down her innocent face, she repeatedly uttered…“I can do this.” The mantra continued as I gave her a hug and a kiss and the school director picked her up to bring her to her classroom.

Leaving my little one on the second day of school was not as bad as the first day…most likely because I was dropping her off on my own, so she didn’t have to see my wife and me leave at the same time.  The shriek that she let out the first day echoed through the halls of the school.  My wife and I were still in the waiting area listening to her wailing because there was paperwork that still needed to be filled out.  I felt bad, but knew that she would calm down eventually and enjoy herself.  However, my wife was clearly heartbroken, and barely able to fill out the forms with the tears clouding her eyes.

We stuck around for a little while.  Before we even finished filling out the forms, my daughter had calmed down.  Through a small window in the classroom door, we were able to see her dancing with the other kids in her class.  Had we not seen this, I’m not sure that I would have been able to drag my wife out of the building.

For the first time, in what seemed like forever, my wife and I were alone in the morning.  Before heading home, we stopped at a local coffee shop and spent some time together discussing my daughter.  Eventually, our conversation turned towards other subjects, which is something that I enjoyed.  I knew that my daughter was in good hands, and it was nice to be able to talk to my wife without the constant interruption that our children are more than happy to provide on a regular basis.

Before long, it was time to pick up my son from school.  We were taking him out early to have his braces put on.  After his appointment, we all went out to eat and then headed to the bookstore that we often frequent.  However, this time, we were all going to be able to actually sit and read, since we weren’t going to have to follow around my little one who usually blows through the bookstore like a hurricane, leaving a trail of books and toys in her wake.

After a short time in the bookstore, something totally unexpected happened.  My son, who is easily exasperated by my daughter (especially in the bookstore) couldn’t seem to focus on reading.  Surprisingly, he kept asking us every few minutes if it was time to pick the little one up from school.  For all of their petty disagreements and bickering, there is still a bond between them that is unbreakable, which really shouldn’t have come as a shock.  On my son’s first day of school this year, my daughter cried for two straight hours as she said (in the typical choppy voice of a crying child)… “I can’t stop thinking about him” and “can we go pick him up from school now?”

About 15 minutes before we were going to leave the bookstore, we got a call from my daughter’s school asking us to come and pick her up a little early.  The kids were having nap time, and she was not going to fall asleep because she was crying too hard.  The pre-school has a great program that has the kids rotating all day long from activity to activity.  However, I had a feeling that with nothing but time to think in silence, that my daughter’s mind would instantly start thinking about all of us.

Truth be told, I think that we were all kind of happy to get the call.  Not that we wanted her to be sad, but we were all anxious for her school day to end so that we could see her.

By the time that we arrived at the school, she had calmed down and was smiling when she saw all of us.  She told us about her day on the way home, and really seemed to like the school and all of the activities.  She assured us that she would be happy to go back for her second day (which proved to be easier said than done).  As we walked into the house, she sighed and said…“ahh…..it’s good to be home!” We all laughed at the maturity of the statement coming from a pre-schooler.  It’s probably exactly what I said after the very long day that we had earlier in the month traveling back from New York.

It is said that every cloud has a silver lining, but I have never seen any physical evidence to confirm that theory.  However, the incredible rainbow that I saw yesterday while taking my daughter to school is proof-positive that even the most daunting storm cannot smother beauty for very long.

From my daughter’s vantage point (both literal and figurative), she could not see the stunning rainbow creating a virtual bridge to the sky.  At that moment, her tear-filled eyes were only able to see the clouds.  I was able to see both.  My hope is that, one day soon, my little one will be so focused on the rainbow that the clouds will disappear right before her eyes.

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