Out of the corner of my eye it caught my attention, just as I was turning my cart down the cereal aisle.
Sitting amongst the typical pastel-colored bunnies, fluffy baby chicks and occasional odd stuffed baby llama was, a Rainbow Bunny. A perfect, beautiful rainbow bunny that made my mother’s heart leap and filled my Soul with warmth, as I envisioned my daughter discovering a new Rainbow Bunny tucked in her basket come Sunday morning.
It would be my special Easter gift, to my special daughter, who I had quietly suspected was LGBTQ since she was 5. A mother’s intuition that felt her daughter’s energy as she watched Rachel Ray on the cooking channel, and felt it again as a curious absence of romantic energy was evident, as she entered her tween years.
Innocent, yet bold. Nuanced, yet clear. Childlike, yet empowering, I hoped this Rainbow Bunny would be the first of many gentle but affirming gestures which spoke unequivocally from my Spirit to hers, subtly letting my beautiful daughter know, that I knew. That I was her biggest cheerleader. And that my mother’s door was always open for conversation, transparency, love and support.
My momma-bear-protector heart was determined to let my beloved girl know, “I will ALWAYS be here for you, RIGHT by your side.”
And that, “I will always Accept you. Love you. Adore you. Support you. For ALL that you are. Just as you are.”
During subsequent years, I worked with intentionality to make it lovingly known to my amazing, intelligent, kind, creative and sensitive daughter that we were an accepting and inclusive family. We rallied around human rights, civil rights, equal rights and diversity. In 2015, we celebrated the legalization of Gay marriage (yeah!), went to Pride parades, and I purchased a “Love is Love” ornament for our Christmas tree.
Before having children, I dreamed of being the mom who created a safe and welcoming home for my children’s friends. The home where everyone gathered, where adolescent girls shared their hearts and their secrets, and my kids’ friends felt supported and uplifted.
As my daughter entered her teen years and she and her friends openly explored their personal identities, our family home became the accepting heart for her base of friends. If only to sit around and play Scrabble or Yahtzee while laughing and feeling fully embraced and accepted, the message was beautiful and poignant. All are accepted. You are perfect. Just the way you are.
By the time my daughter officially “came out,” it was anti-climactic. You see, shrugs my daughter, “I’ve never been closeted. I’m cool just the way I am. If someone doesn’t like it, they can get over it.”
Beautiful words to this momma-psychologist’s heart, whose Soul goal in life is to have her daughters love and accept their Selves just the way they are. To know their Self and to love their Self without apology, regardless of what the world around them says. And to help lift others up, who perhaps aren’t as fortunate.
As my daughter went through the college admission process, she shared her personal statement with me; an essay which revolved around gratitude for her experience of acceptance within our family, especially given her work with teens who had been rejected from their families and their homes due to their sexual identity. As I sat and listened, I felt tears unashamedly roll down from my eyes.
And then tears rolled tenderly down from my daughter’s eyes, as she recited this last sentence to me, “You see, not all children are lucky enough to be given a Rainbow Bunny.”
As Pride Month 2020 comes to a close, my Hope is that eventually ALL kids will feel comfortable enough within this world to step confidently forward with the True Self that they know. And, that they are met Lovingly with Acceptance and Embracement by those who have the emotional power to make their colorful journey either a painful one, or a positive one.