The Rainbows She Leaves Behind

She made a rainbow bigger than herself on Saturday.   Before that, she pressed one into form with her fingers.  Then, I found one made of wax.  My girl is leaving rainbows behind and my inner seven-year old is fully enjoying it.  However, as mother I am starting to see them in a new way.

In 1982 when I was seven, I was busy scrawling secret handwritten notes to my parents asking for a puppy.  I would leave them in their dresser drawers and by spring I had my puppy.  She was a toy poodle named Pickles who lived long enough to go to sophomore year of college with me.  I remember feeling secure and happy with friends and family that year, but I also have memories of feeling anxious and something called self-criticism sneaking in.

According to the books about developmental stages  by Louise Bates Ames, she describes this as the age of introspection.  "Seven-year-olds feel picked on by family, friends, and teachers alike; they worry that no one likes them; they expect every little task to prove too difficult to handle; tears come easily at this age."

Which basically describes my girl on point right now.  Although I dislike some of what is written in Ames's books, I do feel comforted by most of her words.  Especially during mornings like today, when my daughter has so many tears, everything is too hard and "no one likes me."  I realize she is in the thick of a developmental stage and I can't fix it.  These are the times when she quietly asks to take a class at the neighborhood studio, Seattle Mosaic Arts, and I am quick to say, "Yes!" 

Trying my best not to direct her or get in the way, I was her assistant reaching the jars of tiles on the higher shelves and finding all the glittery ones.  I watched in amazement as she used all the tools with confidence and made exactly what she wanted.  This was a task she could handle with ease.  There was only deep concentration.   

It's times like this when I see her as the beautifully complicated being that she is, that she has always been.  I think of myself at that age and have more sympathy.  Next month, she'll announce quite proudly that she is seven and a half (which according to Ames's books the half ages bring with them some discord and unrest.)  Being seven has as much colorful harmony as it does tears and anxiety; therefore, the rainbows my sweet girl leaves behind remind me again that it's all fleeting.  Be gentle and appreciate it.


  1. This is beautiful. I'm wondering if you could tell me which studio this is? My daughter is also really into rainbows and I would love to do something like this with her! Thanks!

    1. It's Seattle Mosaic Arts right behind Archie McPhee in Wallingford! Have fun, it's such a great place!