Quarantine. Shelter in place. Fear. A reduction in human contact is hard enough, imagine being in your formative years. Imagine wanting to see your friends and can’t fully understand it beyond making someone sick. Imagine you have bundled up energy and need to burn some off. Being a parent during this time is hard. Being a kid is both frustrating and confusing. We all need a little more warmth and kindness during this time. That’s where I want to expand an idea—rainbows.
In the North End new mother’s group, a request was put out.
“We are taking our kids for a walk and we want to ask your kids, if they would be willing to make a rainbow, and put it in your window.”
This little touch of warmth and humanity brought a smile to our faces and tears of longing to be with our loved ones. So, of course, our kids obliged the request to do some art.
We went out in search of rainbows that day, but alas, only one was there. On Saturday morning, we woke up and opened the windows to let the sunshine into our apartment, trying to keep whatever sense of normalcy in our lives we could salvage. And there it was, a rainbow was staring back at us on a traditional 8 ½ X 11 piece of paper.
“Do you see it? Do you see it?” Jacob, our four-year-old squeals once he located it. “Look Caleb, it’s on the bottom window.” The joy of knowing that someone else responded and put a rainbow brought excitement and a wonder of how many more rainbows will be out on our next walk. I immediately decided to write an op-ed imploring everyone to oblige one family’s request.
A rainbow is so fitting for the circumstances. You can really only see it from one direction. Once you try to look at the other side, it all but seems to disappear from the lack of sunlight shining from another angle. As parents during these times, it can be dark and dreary inside our heads; however, we cannot share fear and anxiety and put it on our children. We must, instead, put out a sign of happiness, a sign of warmth, a sign that it will be okay.
I would love nothing more to keep my social distance as we take our kids for a walk and feel united with my community in spirit, because we can’t do so in person. Our kids know rainbows, particularly on flags, as a sign that all are welcome. We do belong in this world and we do deserve to be loved. In order to be inclusive, let us all put a rainbow in a window of our homes, our condos, our apartments, our rooms, even our cars.
Let’s show the world that we can be a community that shines a beacon of hope and love in these uncertain times. Please stay safe and healthy.