(This story was sent to
me by Larry Lancaster who has retired from public education after being a
teacher, coach, assistant principal, and principal. He now serves on the
Cumberland County Board of Education in Fayetteville, NC., is the
Immediate Past President of the North Carolina School Boards Association and
presently works at
The Rainbow Story
After a brief trip to Washington, DC which took place shortly after 911, I made a phone call to Emma, my granddaughter, from the Regan Airport to say hello. On this particular day, after being out of town a few days, I was very happy to hear that little voice. I was greeted by a very excited Emma, "Hello PaPa" and " I miss you." Only a grandparent can explain what feelings are felt when you hear the magic sound of a grandchild.
I was very excited and I replied, "I miss you too honey and have you been a good girl"?
Emma said, "Yes Papa and do you have me a surprise"? It had become a tradition to bring home a surprise when returning from a trip. I assured Emma that I did have her a surprise and she wanted to know, "PaPa, what did you bring me"? I explained that if I told her on the phone it would not be a surprise.
Emma said, "PaPa, please tell me," and once again only grandparents can understand but I decided to give her a few hints as to the surprise and see if she could guess.
I said, "Emma, it is something you love. It will make you very, very happy and it comes in different colors." There was a pause and I could tell Emma was giving these clues some serious three year old thought.
Suddenly, Emma said, in a very excited voice, "PaPa, I know what you are bringing me." I was impressed that she had taken those clues and was ready to give me an answer.
I said, "Okay, Emma what is it"?
Emma said, "PaPa, you are bringing me a rainbow." Actually, I was describing Gummy Bears, her favorite candy but her answer completely caught me of guard! I could feel a tear forming and falling down my face after I heard her answer.
What a reply, the association of thought, I wiped away the tear and said, "No Emma, it is not a rainbow, you are my rainbow and you make me very happy. PaPa would get you a rainbow if he could." I told her about the Gummy Bears and she was happy to hear about the surprise.
Emma said, "PaPa, I love you, bye."
This conversation with my grandchild changed my way of thinking about life! Every time I see a rainbow I think about her comment. All my days are rainbows now. In the eyes of a child life is so simple. If you want a rainbow, just go get one! What is the problem? My PaPa can get me anything I want! This was the greatest answer that I have ever been given and it came from a 3 year old, my rainbow, Emma.
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