Six Years of Rainbows

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She pushes through the classroom door, rainbow backpack on one shoulder, its pockets overflowing with markers and art work and folders, stickers and crayons.

"Mom!" she says. "I got to hold the wand!"

I don't know what she's talking about because it's all coming at me so fast. There was an assembly and she got to go on the stage and there was a wand and something about "a goss" and I tell her to slow down, hold on, let's start from the beginning...

"Okay, okay, okay," she says, holding my hand. "When we get in the car."

Fable and I walk the stairs towards Archer's classroom where he's waiting for us and then Fable forgets her whole plan to tell me in the car and...


Archer knows what she's talking about because he was there.

"I got to fight the goss!"

"Gossip," Archer corrects, "The word is gossip."
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In the car, she continues her story about how at the anti-bullying assembly, they asked who wanted to get on the stage and they picked Fable.

"I think it's because my face can't stop smiling sometimes," she says, explaining the science of her chosen status.

"I smile a lot."
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But it's more than that. Fable's strength - her muscle - is her ability to find happy everywhere - to uncover it and dance with it and wrap it around her shoulders and her waist as a protectant. Her armor is love and light and COLOR -- lots of color, and she radiates an inner strength and confidence that continues to blow me away.
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She is fierce and strong and determined and smart as a whip -- rainbows for days and days and months and years, a prism spinning in the light...

Fable has the ability to magnify - to illuminate and bring joy. She did that for me and for Hal and for all of us and continues to vibrate with the frequency of a thousand light bulbs. The rainbow thing is real. It is her superpower and it is indeed superpowerful.
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Hal quit smoking when Fable was born.

He smoked a lot when we met (we both did) and wasn't able to quit until Fable was born. Something about her way... that infectious joyful laugh... and he wanted to live as long as he possibly could knowing she was now with us.

He quit cold turkey.

After twenty years, he had found his antidote.

Fable made him stronger.
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I used to do this thing whenever I got something. I would put it somewhere, lock it away. I never applied a single sticker to my hand or my face or my shirt. I didn't hand them out to friends. I had this strange fear of pulling them from the paper - a fear I would be wasting them or not using them wisely enough. I did the same thing with stick-on tattoos and erasers. I didn't know to enjoy them so I kept them locked up in boxes and drawers. No hands allowed.
Fable is the opposite and I marvel at her desire to live fully and wholeheartedly in the moment, to cover herself with stickers and necklaces and scarves as capes. To share her tattoos and use her erasers and pull everything from its box and give it life.

No use keeping stickers in a book and erasers in their plastic wrap.

Life's too short, man.

It's too short and it's too beautiful not to exist solely for the moment, colors everywhere.
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Fable's hobby is making books. She makes books about our trips and she makes books about our days and she makes books just to make books. Because that is what she does. Recently she wrote a book about a princess who has to decide between a nice prince and a not-so-nice prince.

When I asked her, "Well, what's there to decide? Wouldn't the princess choose the nice prince over the mean one?"

"No. Because the mean one is ALSO nice. Everyone is a little bit nice in there somewhere."

Fable sees the good in everyone. She has never held back a compliment to a stranger, a kind word, a hug... when I am sad, she asks if I need a back scratch and every night before bed, she tells me I'm beautiful. Even with glasses askew and toothpaste on my pimple. And when I'm with her, I feel it to my core. Fable has more confidence than any one I have ever known - enough to spare - to pass on - to give back and she does.

"We are all beautiful girls," I recently overheard Fable tell her sisters.

How lucky they are.
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And me.
And all of us.
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Lately Fable has done this thing where she wants to put on shows. She gets dressed up and she goes outside with her brother and her sisters and she sits them down and sings an entire song, word for word, hands extended, eyes closed, and then when it's over, she sits down and the twins or Archer will perform.

She throws her hands in the air and sings loud enough for the neighbors to hear and not for a second does she doubt that she isn't ROCKING it.

And she is.

She always has.

But she KNOWS it. She has found the thing in herself that some of us take lifetimes (or many lifetimes) to find. She wears what makes her happy and says what's on her mind and she gives away just enough of herself to others while holding DEARLY to her sparkle.
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Last year I wrote a post about Fable that I revisited last week (Fable's actual birthday is the 2nd of October) and I found that every word I wrote in that post rings true this year, on this day... the only difference is the bangs she decided (once she finally grew them out) that she wanted, once again, to cut short... 

And when I sat down to write this post, I realized I was repeating the same stories... praising the same attributes, celebrating the same girl. I always think that Fable's consistency is a testament to her strong sense of self. A sense that is innate. She was born THIS WAY and somehow, as she has aged, the part of her I used to fear would become jaded and faded has not. Fable stands tall in the same way she did at age 2. She does not worry that two different socks will be frowned upon or that dancing in a public place will be embarrassing. She is still fearless in social situations -- thinking for herself - challenging the rules - loving unconditionally. 

Slow down. Hold on. Let's start from the beginning.

Ah, yes. But the beginning felt exactly like this. 
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I used to be afraid that she would change. Because, eventually, we all do. Because time and experience dulls our spirit in ways we cannot control. Because it is only natural to become less child-like as we grow older. Because the day eventually comes when dancing in public and wearing rainbows and putting on night concerts and being our own best friends is... well... yeah. And while I know that change is imminent, I am no longer afraid. Because it's more than just wearing rainbow clips in her hair (which she no longer does ) and mismatched socks. Fable's consistency stems beyond her love for rainbows and into the place that belongs solely to her... 
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I don't worry about Fable anymore. Not even a little bit. Which is, perhaps, odd, considering she is only six years old and I know what's coming. I do. I know that life will get messy and that there will be challenges (infinite challenges) and things will happen that will be terrible and I know all of that. I know that the human experience is a mess. But I also know that nothing, not even time and experience, will ever be as powerful as the color she paints her world with. That no matter how many power pocket prototypes she makes to wear around her waist, she has within her, an infinite supply of materials to keep building them, one by one.
Fable has it. She has always had it. And that IT cannot be quantified or even explained. It can not be boxed up or pulled out or taken away. It cannot be mined or studied or even learned. Fable knows what she has and where to find it. She FEELS it. And for the last six years, so have we.
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We love you, Fable. Happy Birthday, rainbow girl.
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P.S. Fable got a fish for her birthday. 
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It was a surprise. 
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She named him Rainbow. 
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