"But I want to go with you, Mama!" My five-year-old daughter's big, blue eyes gazed up at me under bangs that were beginning to remind me of ornamental grasses. Her lips trembled, and yet again I felt the pity of her being the only daughter in a houseful of boys. A basketball game was on, Bean was sleeping, and the other boys were doing whatever boys do on Saturdays. I was looking forward to a few minutes out alone, even if that was only a thirty minute run to the store.
"Oh," I sighed, "All right."
"Yay!" she proclaimed, and ran off to don her purple coat and shove on pink and leopard print boots. Without socks. (Those boots are wild and not my choice, definitely. But she loves them--and they were free.)
Not fifteen minutes later, we got out of the van and headed into the store. She held my hand and said, looking at the ground, "Look at the rainbows!"
I knew she was referring to the mess of oil and water that results from car offerings and melting snow. It is beautiful, I thought, but pushed that to the back of my mind, preoccupied with getting the errand done. "That's wonderful, huh?" I said, only half listening.
Twenty minutes later we left the store, and loaded up the van. After returning the shopping cart, we strolled (well, I strolled, she skipped) back across the parking lot. She stopped when we reached the back of the vehicle, and her little, awed voice floated through the air, "Wow, look at the rainbows."
I glanced down, then saw--really saw what she was looking at. Just as I expected, the rainbow was comprised of oil and water, blended together on the filthy parking lot. What I didn't expect was how bright the colors were as they washed long over the dark surface, like a rainbow tower laid sideways. Sunlight coaxed a brilliant sheen that sparkled like Tinkerbell's dust, and it was as if a magical fairy world was just waiting behind the pavement. "It is beautiful, isn't it?" I said. We stood there together for a few moments, my little girl and I, enveloped in the world of magic and fairies and rainbows.
Then we got into our van and drove home.
Now and then I'll take the time to look--really look--around me. You never know when magic might be around the corner--or down at your feet.