Crossing the rainbow bridge is a beautiful folk story that I have adapted to tell to Ella each year, the night before her birthday.
It is a version of the traditional Waldorf birthday story, The Rainbow Bridge, which has several versions out there – ours is a cleaned up version that takes into account that we are a single parent household and Christian. Feel free to use our story as inspiration to weave your own “birth story” for your children.
Once upon a time, very long ago, almost two years exactly, there was a little angel in heaven named Ella. Heaven was a beautiful place, full of colour and music, where it was never too hot or too cold, and if Ella ever wanted a scrumptious treat all she had to do was wish and reach into a cloud to pull out that imagined treat. But one day, when reaching in for a bowl of ice cream, Ella saw through a hole in the cloud down to the beautiful Earth that lay below. She saw butterflies flying in the air and fish swimming in the sea, children and their parents playing in the grass, at the beach, and in their lovely homes.
Ella desperately wanted to join the children, asking the other angels, “Please, may I go to Earth?”
But the angels smiled and said in unison, “Yes, but not now.”
Ella didn’t quite know what that meant, but she was happy knowing that she would eventually be able to go to Earth. She returned to her carefree live in heaven and almost forgot about the Earth and all of its wonders.
Then, one day, while reaching into a cloud for a big bowl of strawberries, Ella saw a beautiful mama full of love in her heart, but with no child in her arms. Ella suddenly knew that this was her mama, and she asked the angels, “Please, may I go to Earth and be with my mama?”
The angels smiled and said in unison, “Yes, but you must go to through the land of dreams tonight and wait for your mama to call for you.”
That night, Ella curled up in a cloud and dreamed of all of the beautiful things in heaven and Earth, and in the middle of her dream she heard a voice calling to her, “Ella, will you be my child?” It was her mama, calling to her from Earth. Ella woke up and told the angels about her dream.
The angels smiled and said in unison, “It is time for you to cross the rainbow bridge.”
Ella went back to sleep, and the angels placed her in a strong basket and attached it to a giant balloon. Ella floated through Heaven and slowly began to descend on the Earth. The basket gently landed before the rainbow bridge which stretches between heaven and Earth.
Ella looked across the rainbow bridge and saw her mama waiting for her on the other side and she bravely began to walk across. When she reached the other side, she was born and placed into her mother’s waiting arms. Mama looked down at her precious baby and said, “Welcome, I’ve been waiting to meet you.”
Every year, the night before the anniversary of the day she was born, the angels visit Ella while she is sleeping and place her back in her strong basket, attach it to a giant balloon, and bring her back to the rainbow bridge. When she awakes, she crosses the rainbow bridge to her mama’s waiting arms and turns another year older.
This year, I made a rainbow path – a rainbow of balloons followed by a silk scarf surrounded by rainbows and ending at a wooden “2.” When Ella crossed the “rainbow bridge” she was met with applause and lots of fun birthday surprises.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?