In the Beginning…
Believe it or not, I was not born a Rainbow Unicorn. I was a very ummmm…unique child, one might say. According to my family, I was a pretty dang smart little girl, although a little weird when it came to naming the adults in my life. For instance, my maternal grandparents were “He and Bob.” He was my grandma, and my granddad was Bob. Now, I ask you, what kind of child prodigy names her grandmother a male pronoun? Oddly enough, she was He until the day she died, and he was always Bob. That’s not confusing at all, is it?
My grandparents thought I hung the moon! They let me tap dance on their coffee table, taught me how to sing Bluegrass, and instilled in me a love for growing a vegetable garden. When He made pies, she showed me how to make my own little pies with the leftover pie crust and fillings in mayonnaise lids (they were metal back in the day). Bob taught me how to weld, drive a car, and tried to teach me how to play the banjo. Some of my very best memories are at He and Bob’s house.
Rainbow Unicorns have incredible, and often extravagant, imaginations! When my little sister, Michelle (aka Chelle), was old enough to play with me, I led her on the most exciting adventures EVER! Sure, we played house and Barbies like all normal little girls, but how many housewives do you know who are married to Batman and Robin? Or Speed Racer? We were trapeze artists and tightrope walkers in the circus, ballerinas and mudpie chefs (Just ask our little brother, Nathan. He was always our taste tester.) If I close my eyes, I can see us playing with our baby dolls on a quilt under the shade tree in the backyard, performing our acrobatics on the swingset, and having a mud clod war in He and Bob’s garden. Sweet memories!
The Metamorphosis Begins
As that little quirky girl entered the new and exotic world of elementary school, a change began to take place. Becoming a Rainbow Unicorn is a complex process. As a child, I didn’t realize I was unique (aka a little weird). In fact, until I was in the third grade, no one ever told me that I wasn’t the most awesome kid to ever walk the planet. That is, until a girl named Lynn took it upon herself to let me know, enlisting a lynch mob of 3rd through 5th graders.
All kids are created equal in their own young, innocent eyes. Unfortunately, as they begin to take notice of one another’s unique attributes, they begin the process of categorizing each other. Before you know it, those innocent little beings have mastered the arts of name-calling, ostracizing, and destroying the very souls of their former playmates.
Now, don’t start feeling sorry for me. Yes, it was tough and left emotional scars, but those scars color the rainbow of who we become. After a few months (and me
bribing them with buying them candy at the school store), that mean girl’s posse abandoned her and left her to hate me all by herself. The rainbow began to appear, but the colors were still a little faint and smudged together.
Our school system was two small schools that consolidated when I was in the fourth grade. After the merger, K-4 and 9-12 grades attended school at one campus, while grades 5-8 were bussed to another campus three miles away. That’s not that important, but hopefully it will help you form a mental picture.
So, here’s this 10-year-old lanky kid with short, bushy brown hair, big teeth, and a terrible sense of fashion, entering the halls of middle school with basically only a couple of friends. (Lynn’s posse was still a little stand-offish, although their evil ringleader had previously moved.)
Moving right along…
Middle school, it seems, was even worse than elementary school had been. Not only was I coming to the realization that no one appreciated my unique qualities, there was something WEIRD going on with my body!
It might’ve been less disturbing if a horn had actually starting growing in the center of my head, but what was happening to my chest freaked me out! Now, don’t get me wrong, I was dying to have boobs! What I guess I never realized was that one didn’t just wake up with voluptuous breasts. Nope! They emerge slowly and painfully and take on the most peculiar shapes imaginable!
As if that weren’t enough, tweens tend to get a little chunkier and a LOT dorkier! That’s when the metamorphosis truly begins! Acne breakouts. Voices change in boys. Periods begin girls. Feet and armpits begin to rot. Arms and legs grow to gorilla proportions. The list goes on!
And then there was this…
A Rainbow Unicorn Emerges
Like other adolescents before me and those who have followed, I survived that initial transitional stage of becoming the Rainbow Unicorn I am today – passing through puberty, falling in love, getting married, having babies, raising babies, gaining weight, losing weight, gaining it back again, getting older, etc. The beauty of being a Rainbow Unicorn is that the transformation in ongoing, and one just becomes more magnificent with age!
I have certainly endured my share of emotional scars in my almost 50 years, but I’m not bitter about them. See, my Daddy is the King. He takes everything that the enemy intended for evil and uses it for His glory (paraphrase of Romans 8:28). Those scars have not only added more hues to my rainbow, but once I allowed God to heal them, I began to sparkle! Remember, Jesus came to heal the broken hearted, to take all those shattered pieces and make us whole again. I think my heart must look like a disco ball. All those shiny shards of glass glued back together to create something sparkly and alive, reflecting His light all over the place!
One Last and Almost Entirely Irrelevant Thought
So, being the Rainbow Unicorn that I am, I thrive on being unique and HATE jumping on anybody’s bandwagon! (What the heck is a bandwagon, anyway? I’ll google it later.) Anyhoo…unicorns, once VERY popular in the 80’s when I was a teen, have reemerged on the list of really cool icons over the past few months.
For the record – I was a Rainbow Unicorn before it was cool again.
I ran across this 1984 “Bluebirds of Happiness” wall calendar in my keepsake trunk a couple of weeks ago. Folks, these are authentic, vintage rainbow unicorn puffy stickers, circa 1984! This is the July page from that calendar, which I used to document the countdown to my wedding day. I was 17 years old.
Exhibits B&C (no photos available. Just take my word on this.) is the framed poster of a pink and gray-hued unicorn hung above mine and Todd’s bed in the new home we built in 1985 and a majestic brass unicorn reared up on its hind legs on my bedside lamp. True story.
I rest my case…