For some reason, Chaim Boruch has always loved rainbows.
Not that he has ever seen or noticed a real one before, but the incredible awesomeness of its colorful make-up is what seems to grab his attention.
There is a favorite song that Chaim Boruch loves when he watches his signing time DVDs; it’s called “Do you knowI start to wonder if giving the kids an allowance is a good thing the colors of the rainbow?” In this song, each color is taught with ASL (American Sign Language).
I must admit, it’s one of my favorite songs, too. Growing up the daughter of an artist, I was taught to recognize and appreciate the incredible radiant hues with which G‑d created our world.
A few weeks ago we made that fun (read: exhausting) trip to Target with the kids. (Honestly, I think I’d rather do more laundry than watch my kids in a brightly colored store with way too many options for everything!)
We arrive without too much fanfare, and I start to wonder if, indeed, giving the kids an allowance is really a good thing. Yet they are all excited, and as they clasp their dollar bills—all smiles and with super-small budgets—we begin our expedition.
Chaim Boruch, of course, heads over to the toy aisle while brushing up way too close to the towering shelves—close enough to shake toy boxes like a small earthquake, but thankfully, not enough to do too much damage.
I begin to feel that exhaustion and dizziness that somehow has become what I call the “Target Syndrome.”
As I begin to feel like a target myself, I am bombarded with an avalanche of questions about random products, how they work, their prices, and my opinion on whether or not to purchase the mini-racing-car, battery-operated, super-fast, super-cool, one-of-a-kind sports car (that will surely break in a week’s time).
I realize that I’m gripping the shopping cart ever so tightly and do a quick count to make sure all my kids are indeed talking to me at once. I answer each one with as much patience as possible and contemplate how many years we may be in therapy just from outings like these.
Suddenly, there’s a pause.
The kids continue down the aisle happy with their choices and my suggestions. And then my eyes meet Chaim Boruch.
His steps are unbalanced; he almost bumps into my cart as he smiles at me with his magnificent grin while clasping aHe pulls his toy back and clutches it tightly white box with his clumsy weak hands. I smile back at him, curious about his find. He shows it to me, and I am in awe.
I can’t believe it. Usually, he will randomly grab items off the shelf and toss them into the cart, making shopping an extraordinary experience with anything but ordinary items.
Yet he is pointing to a tiny rainbow on the outside of the box.
He will not let go, for even a second, so I may gather more information about his unique choice.
Well. A rainbow-maker it is.
Chaim Boruch is now walking with even more super-confident energy, showing off his rainbow box to anyone in sight who will cast a gaze on him. We somehow cajole, beg and slightly pull the simple white box out of his hands to come as close to the cashier’s scanner as possible.
Within seconds, he pulls his toy back and clutches it tight with a big smile.
We journey back home with happy chatter in the car, and I think for a moment how amazing it is that out of hundreds of toys, he finds the one box with a tiny rainbow on it. Back home, we help Chaim Boruch open up his prized possession and see that, in fact, he bought a most beautiful battery-operated rainbow-maker that casts a magnificent rainbow in a darkened room.
I forget that I am the mom for a moment and excitedly grab his hand, pulling him into his room with sheer excitement. He is laughing at my playfulness, and my heart feels light and happy. We turn off the light and turn on his rainbow-maker.
And there, before our eyes, is the most magnificent rainbow I have ever seen. The room is silent—calm and transformed.
Chaim Boruch’s face is glowing in the dark, his head is tilted to one side, incredulous at his very own rainbow.
What is the message of the rainbow? What does it symbolize?
In Judaism, a rainbow is a sign of the covenant between G‑d and the human race, that in spite of how man might sin, He will never make a flood that would destroy the world again. When we see a rainbow, we make a blessing to thank G‑d for not making another flood.
As I stand next to this miraculous child, I see the rainbow in a similar, magnificent way.
That sometimes, the darkest challengesI see the rainbow can even be seen in a different light. Sometimes, there are certain shades of colors that can only come to life from the black of night—vibrant, warm, incredible color that illuminates even the darkest room.
A rainbow of introspection. Where G‑d is always by our side, giving us new opportunities to ignite, inspire and commit to added levels of growth.
There we are, mother and son. Side by side, with the Creator of the world. Who can truly make rainbows in the dark.