My Rainbow Girl

I have a girl who loves Rainbows. I wonder sometimes if she doesn't dream in rainbows. The other day we were sitting on a patio at a restaurant waiting for our food and out of the blue she held her head back, opened her mouth, stuck out her tongue and started lapping up the air. When we asked her what she was doing she smiled and said: "I'm drinking rainbows out of the sky."

Well, duh! Of course you are.

When asked what rainbows taste like she proceeded to explain that rainbows lose their colors separately so she's tasting yellow first (which she decided was lemon), then green (which she decided was pineapple - hey, it's HER rainbow), then blue, etc etc. And so she contentedly sat, lost in her own little world, drinking up the rainbows.

It just sorta makes you marvel at how wonderful having a mind free from discretion and self-awareness must be; for the sky to look that pretty - to be able to express creativity without fear of judgment. I'm envious. I'm sure there's a lesson to learn in there somewhere.

Last year, when she was 5, she told me that we were lucky to have red hair because having red hair means we are part of the rainbow (because red is a color of the rainbow)...and that makes us special.

What a lovely thought.

When I was little all I remember feeling about red hair was that it made me special in a negative way. It made me too different. For some reason in our school there were very very few redheads. I was teased endlessly. I was constantly stared at. I determined it must be because they all thought I belonged in a circus rather than walking around freely in society; and at any moment it would be discovered that I had escaped and back to the Big Top I would go. I always put my head down when I walked in stores and tried not to make eye contact with anyone for this reason. It would be years before I would feel comfortable walking around a mall (something to this day I avoid like the plague).

Oh and the little old ladies. Good grief - the little old ladies at the grocery store always made comments about my hair...about how pretty it was and how they always wished they had a daughter or granddaughter with red hair. Some would try to touch it. That never helped satisfy my fears. I see my own Rainbow Girl's reactions when the little old ladies make comments to her in the grocery store...or try to touch her hair. At first she would lower her head and look away, the same way I did as a child, and I would jump to her defense and remind her it's good to be different and her hair makes her special and unique; and would tell the little old ladies she doesn't like talking about her haircolor (ie: back off old lady!)...but now I see her smiling sometimes during these encounters. I think she's made it thru. I think the rainbows carry her thru. 

One thing I do know for sure, having red hair, with the teasing and the staring and the constant old lady comments, gave me a very healthy sense of humor about myself. Somewhere deep down I think we all try to find some sort of inner rainbow that carries us thru. That positive that comes from what we perceive as a negative. I'm thankful for it now, as it's made me who I am and gave me something to overcome - it forced me to laugh at myself, at the world even, and to choose positive thoughts over negative. It took me a while to get to that point, but I got there. And once I got there, I never looked back. Although I still have days where I look at myself in a picture or catch a glance of myself in a mirror and think, girl, you do belong in a circus...good grief that's some crazy colorful hair!

But my Rainbow Girl is much too clever to be in the circus. She figured it out much sooner than her ol mama did.

Rainbow Girl colors in rainbows:

She wears Rainbows on her hands and in her hair:

And on her shoes:

She parties in rainbows (yes, we've had a Rainbow Birthday):

She paints rainbows:

She's a walking Rainbow celebration.

And no, we don't ever go to the circus.

So this blogpost is dedicated to all our fellow Red-Haired Rainbow friends. Take it from us, you don't belong in a're a special part of the Rainbow...and that's something to smile about!

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