"This is my daughter, Sparkling Rainbow"

Very late Tuesday night, I sat across from the escalators at the T.F Green airport and watched the passengers descend.  It was warming to watch people being greeted, boyfriends and girlfriends reuniting, a solider hugging his parents, the dad with tears pouring down his face.  Then I spotted the passenger I was waiting for.  As Maddy came into view, for her first Christmas home from college, she beamed at me and it took my breath away.  I was struck by how beautiful and grown up she was.  I had just seen her for Thanksgiving, and she seemed the same as always but here, just a few weeks later, she seemed so different. 

I have always been proud of her, but I had been feeling especially proud the past few weeks.  After struggling with homesickness for the first couple months of college, she finally turned the corner and now loves Baylor and  the great state of Texas and has found the friends she was hoping to find.  She has worked hard, without me breathing down her neck, I honestly didn't know if she could do that, but she has.

The morning after she arrived home, the most popular name list both for the year and for the decade came out.  Madison was number 2 on both lists.  Darn it.  We really tried hard to give our girls unique names, not weird names, but names you just don't hear everyday.  In 1991, Madison truly was pretty unusual but about 10 years later it took off like gangbusters.  I am happy Devyn never made it to the top of any list and not surprisingly, Mikias and Jemberu are unique among their peers in the name department.  But my youngest girl who is not the least bit ordinary, has a common name.

In preschool, Madison insisted we only call her Maddy, so we did.  We never call her Madison, in fact her little brothers have no idea that that is her real name.  In high school she started to go by Madison, but it didn't really stick, too many people already knew her as Maddy.  She went to Texas for college, not a soul knew her already, Madison stuck and that is who she is there.  When she was four, in the 'don't call me Madison' phase, she told us that she wishes we had thought a little harder and given her a good name.  I asked what we should have gone with and without skipping a beat, she said 'Sparkling Rainbow'.  It wasn't just a whim, she had given it some real thought and brought it up with odd frequency.

As I watched her glide down the escalator at the airport, I realized she was onto something in preschool.  Madison is okay but Sparkling Rainbow would have worked too.