I saw double today. No, I didn’t experience blurry vision, or see a set of twins. I saw a double rainbow. Technically I guess I saw two single rainbows…but I am not too technical most days. Let me explain…
I had gone over this afternoon to help my daughter move a desk and a few other items out of her home and into my van to make the first of many treks between our homes this week. My extended family and I are setting off on a great adventure this week. We are combining households, by choice not necessity, and they are moving in with me by my suggestion. Friday is our set moving day for the big stuff and by Saturday all my little chickens should be safe and snug under my roof.
I arrived and the little ones were in jammies, and so was Mom. The littles were playing on the chalkboard and maybe fussing a little more than playing and Mom and I were trying to talk above the roar of “Don’t draw there Isaac, NO MAX that is my spot, I DREW A BIIIIIG LION GIGI” and so forth. Chalkboards are great, but do usually require a bit fewer users and a bit more space for true creativity.
Samantha and I did manage to struggle out the desk and get it into the van, along with several booster seats which will be stored till next year and the twins are big enough to use them.
As I was loading the van with the first group of drawers and booster seats, a soft rain began to fall and I hurried along a bit. When I turned around to head up and get the desk off the driveway before the wood got too soaked I stopped. I saw the most beautiful rainbow. I have loved rainbows since I was a small child. I stood and watched and the rain trickled down my face and onto my shirt and dripped off the bill of my cap….and still I stood and looked. I saw Samantha come out with two of the desk drawers and said “Hey, come here there’s a rainbow!” Samantha rushed in to get the kids to come see. None of the three, even Lorelai who is almost seven, had ever seen a rainbow before. They chattered and talked about it, Isaac calling it a hair bow, Lorelai talked about how beautiful the colors were, and Max just laughed at the rain getting everyone wet. I thought about how I had seen hundreds probably in my lifetime, but this is the first one they had seen and I got to see them see their “first”. How special to share that with my babies. A “first time” only comes once, for anything.
And that’s kind of what this week is about, too. It will be a “first time” for all of us to live together and become a new family dynamic. Samantha and I have of course lived together, but never as grown women really. She left home when she was an adult, but not married and certainly had no children at the time. She was a single child going out into an adult world as a single lady for the first time. And at that time I actually became a single lady in a home by myself for the first time. When I married the first time, I went straight from my parents’ home to married life, so that was a first for me while it was also a first for my daughter. That seems like a lifetime ago. I guess in many ways it is a lifetime ago.
It is still a bit weird and surreal thinking about what this week will be. I have been single for a few years now and on my own and have reached my pattern of days. I get up when I want or need, I do stuff during the day, I come home, I do or do not do stuff and then, well, I go to bed and do it again tomorrow. And pretty much always in that order. I never fear running into anyone when I am at home. I always find what I need in the fridge because no one has eaten it or moved it or thrown it out because
they thought it needed to “go”. I wear the clothing I want that is not to impress anyone but for sheer comfort. I take a second hot bath in the middle of the night if the arthritis is acting up and never fear I will wake anyone or disturb the household. I am Rhonda Planet: Population One. But that is about to change dramatically.
And my children and grandkids are about to experience some real firsts. My granddaughter has spent the night with me, but she has never lived with me. My twin grandsons have never spent the night with me much less slept outside of their own bed at home as yet and they will do that first at my mother’s home while we are moving for two days and then my house, which will become their house. My son in law has not lived with me before so that will be new to him. My daughter has not lived with me as an adult mother or wife. And me? I have not lived with any of them, or anyone for quite a while, so this will be a big first for me, too. A year ago I couldn’t have predicted we would even be entertaining the thought of combining our lives this way.
It’s funny. My daughter and son-in-law haven’t said it has happened and maybe it hasn’t. But in my case I have had numerous people who have said “Oh wow, you sure you wanna do that? I moved all my crew in and I am telling you don’t do it.” And any and all variations of that same sentiment have rolled in the last several weeks from well-meaning friends and acquaintances. I have had a handful that know me and my kids and they assure me it will be an adjustment but we will be fine. I have chosen to take the high road on that one and say it will be a blessing to be together. I chose to look at it like that rainbow today…a unexpected chance to stop, reflect, see some things again, see other things as a “first” through the little ones eyes, and gather all of it in before it quickly disappears, as rainbows do.
I pulled the van out of the neighborhood and started on my way home, running a couple of errands before I arrived in the driveway. As I turned onto my street I was surprised and a little misty-eyed as I saw another rainbow. No, it wasn’t the same one; that one had disappeared long before. It was a new one, it looked the same but it was in a different place in the sky and at a different time. And it was over my house this time, where the other one was over my daughter’s home. I have never seen two rainbows in one day like that, and I have to think it was God’s way of reminding me that He has it all under control. He blessed them THERE and he will bless us HERE. Sometimes real clarity comes in seeing double.