Rainbow Connection

There are eggs cooking in a pan.

Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what’s on the other side?

The notes drift into the kitchen and I feel them in my chest, know them by heart. There’s a special joy in unexpectedly hearing a song you love right when you need to hear it; a little gift from the universe. Serendipity. He heard it too and runs to me; his 6 year old hands outstretched, inviting me to dance. I move the half cooked eggs off the burner. Breakfast can wait, my dance partner can’t.

This is our song. The one I have sung to him nearly every night of his life.

The Rainbow Connection - Ava Love Hanna

The first night.

I looked at the tiny person I had made and felt such overwhelming love, deep incomprehensible love… and fear. I had absolutely no idea what to do next, no clue how to actually be a parent. I looked him over, saw his soft vulnerability, his total dependence and realized that I’d never really thought past being pregnant… Oh crap.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered when wished on the morning star?

I took a breath, kissed him softly on the head and then suddenly I felt it rise up from somewhere deep inside my chest and head – an instinctual urge passed on in the genes of motherhood, a connection passed throughout the human race. I didn’t know how to be a parent, but I knew what to do right then: I sang to him.

I was surprised to hear the confidence in my voice, but it was there and I knew that meant I would be okay. His head on my heart, we melted into the rhythm of the song, connected as mother and child in those first new moments.

What’s so amazing, that keeps us stargazing, and what’do we think we might see?

I danced with my father to this song on the day I got married. It’s our song too, but I don’t know if he knows that.  Growing up my father and I were far too much alike to really get along, and our relationship always felt stifled, uncomfortable. Neither of us was good at showing affection, it meant being too vulnerable or feeling dumb. Hugs were rare and often done quickly with one arm… But, we both loved the Muppets, so we had that. I remember hearing him singing this song while walking through the house. It was my favorite memory of him and I knew it was the only song we could dance to.

At my reception, as the first few notes made their way to the dance floor, my father, a shy man who hates to be the center of attention, who always shirks the public eye, grabbed me and spun me around the dance floor. We danced while he sang so loudly and enthusiastically that I couldn’t stop laughing and crying. It’s one of my favorite moments, seeing him so happy, and briefly feeling a comfortable connection between us.

All of us under its spell, we know that it’s probably magic…

Now, I am dancing with my little boy. His small hand in mine, I spin him around the room, sing loudly while he laughs and holds me tight. I feel our connection… parent to child to parent to child. I never really understood the lyrics before I had him, but here it was, the rainbow connection. It is this song, this love, these moments that connect our generations, our hearts.

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices? I’ve heard them calling my name…

I’m still trying to feel like a parent so I listen for promptings from ancestral connections that taught the parents before me how to connect to their children, the ones that lie sleeping in my dna. I let those whispers guide me and I sing to him every night. Sometimes, he sings with me, other times he curls into my arm and falls asleep by the third stanza. I finish the song anyway and then lie next to him and listen to him breathing. I still don’t know exactly how to be a parent, I still don’t know if I’m doing it right, but I feel the strength of the bond growing between us, feel the connection that binds us to each other forever and fall asleep to the rhythm of his breath.

… the lovers, the dreamers, and me.

Ava Love Hanna

Ava Love Hanna

Ava Love Hanna is a writer and performer living in Austin, Texas. She really, really wants you to use the Oxford comma.
Ava Love Hanna

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4 Comments

  1. Sweet, sweet memories, Ava. I loved reading about these, and I love that your song is one that is sung by Kermit. 🙂
    Kristin Shaw recently posted…Friday Favorites – August 29My Profile

  2. I love this. I used to sing that to Zoe every night as I rocked her to sleep. Unfortunately I didn’t know anything past the first verse. 🙂
    Leigh Ann recently posted…kids are so unreliableMy Profile

  3. This is perfect. Exactly what I needed to read right now. (Thank you!)
    Keely recently posted…Crazy Easy Chalkboard Frame Gallery, AKA How To Make Your Spouse Cry.My Profile

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