"the soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears."
from a native american saying
for the second night in a row, i was away from home at bedtime. i didn't get to rock my harper bean to sleep, sing her songs, read her books, reflect on her day, kiss and snuggle her one last time before the sleepies crept in. and when i called my mom on my way home to ask her how their park date was, she told me that as they were getting ready to enter the park, it started to sprinkle and they had to turn back around for home. and i thought to myself, in everyone's life, some rain must fall.
i was sad that she didn't get to play on the swings and slides, as she is always requesting lately, and sad that i wouldn't get to see her until morning light. but then, as i was driving home, i spotted a rainbow. and i was inspired by seeing my first colorful ribbon of the rainy spring season to take a picture of it with my phone (yes, while i was driving. shame on me.)
can you see it in the distance?
when i walked in the door, i asked michael if she was asleep. we peeked at the monitor and noticed her hands were still moving, rubbing the silky ribbons of her taggie, thumb in mouth, easing herself to sleep. i took inspiration from the rainbow and headed into her room for some missed snuggle time. her eyes were open and she was lying on her side. when i walked over to her crib, she looked up at me as if to ask "why are you coming into my room when i'm not crying?" and then "where did you come from, mommy?" i rubbed her back and asked if she wanted to rock with mommy for a little bit. she grabbed her taggie and stood up.
i held my beautiful baby in the crook of my arm, where she still fits perfectly after 21 months, and rocked with her while i told her how much i loved her and how i missed her. i asked her how her day was, and she didn't miss a beat. it's raining. harper all wet. nana all wet. she just amazes me.
and then i traced her face. i remember my grandmother doing this to me as a child (heck, even as a teenager). she'd sit on her yellow and brown flowery couch, and i'd lay down with my head in her lap and ask her to tickle my face. she'd trace circles on my cheeks, up over my eyes, between my eyes and down my nose, back over my cheek and around my mouth with her fingertips. over and over and over. it was the most comforting feeling in the world. her wrinkled hands, aged with love, smoothed the worries and the sorrow that i carried in my face. those simple, quiet moments together are some of the most wonderful memories of my grandmother. and definitely something i wanted to pass along to my children.
i sat there in the dark, in her room, rocking in our chair, tracing the curves of her innocent face. she giggled at the tickles when i'd make it back around to her mouth and chin. and i couldn't help but thank the heavens for showing me a rainbow today. i would have missed this beautiful time with her had i not decided to forget-about-routine-bedtimes and putting-herself-to-sleep for just tonight and steal an extra moment. those first few minutes of our rocking, we just stared into each other's eyes with smiles on our face. i missed her and she missed her mama. she just seemed so happy and surprised to have me creep into her room and capture her for a little extra while. and i was delighted to have banished the rain and captured a rainbow.