Deeper than Rainbows

We Stop for Rainbows.

A Preview for Young(er) Moms

“Come out on the porch and look left. There’s a magnificent rainbow.” My daughter has called me just an instant after leaving to pick up her husband. We’re visiting them in Hawai’i, and toddler Sawyer is asleep. Rich and I stay home with Cadence while his mommy goes to collect her husband from the shipyard where his submarine is in for overhaul.

“Thanks,” I tell her. “Hey, Papa Rich? Cadence? That was Mommy on the phone. She says there’s an awesome rainbow outside. Let’s go look!” And the three of us, we drop what we were doing when the phone rang, and we step onto the porch, peer up into the sky at the rainbow shimmering there. 

Right there on the porch, I remember. It’s 1992. I have a white Jetta with a sunroof, and we’re driving, my girl and me, to my parents’ home for dinner. We round a bend and a gigantic double rainbow stretches across the sky, two complete arcs, one above the other. 
I pull over and stop the car. “Let’s get out and look at it,” I tell her.  We unbuckle, hop out of the Jetta, stand for a moment, silent, looking up. She doesn’t ask me why I’ve stopped the car so we can look at a double rainbow. I guess when you’re ten years old, it’s obvious.
Twin crescents of ephemeral beauty, bracketing here to there, stretching across the sky: If these gifts aren’t worthy of a moment’s attention, then what is? 

Twenty years later, I stand on her porch with my husband and her oldest son, and we look at the rainbow. I’ve been musing, this visit, over how my girl and I are alike. Neither of us can stand a burr on a fingernail–emery boards are bona fide emergency equipment. She’s waited for us to arrive to plan the meals for our visit. I would do that. 
And now she’s sent us to look at the rainbow. She’s her own woman, indeed. But careful watching, as I’ve had time to do on this acoustic vacation, would show you that she’s mine. 
She amazes me, this busy young wife and mother who grew inside me, thirty years ago. I have many friends whose children are younger than Elaine. They wonder what’s ahead, what parenting feels like when your children are grown, how it feels to hold a grandchild. 
To them, I say this: It’s indescribable. But if you’re blessed, as she’s blessed me, it’s joy upon joy, measure over measure. 

Sawyer, Elaine, Cadence (Kissing Baby Sister, due in September), Me. Mother’s Day.

 1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NASB)