The other day, I caught myself right in the middle of a live reenactment of my daughter’s favorite Boynton book, Blue Hat, Green Hat (The Oops Book).
As we were walking out the door to go vote followed by a trip to the playground, I grabbed a hat. As I looked down I noted the color of the hat. OOPS! No way I can wear that hat to a heated election if I want to avoid confrontation! So I pondered the other one of the differing political party color, but no, I was raised that your vote is a private matter so I didn’t want to flaunt that either. There I was, caught in the middle of the red hat, blue hat, OOPS! scenario. So I did what any good Boynton book makes you do; I began to chuckle.
What was the big deal? It was a hat! At one point the colors red and blue, when combined with white, evoked the spirit of patriotism. The colors of our American Flag. Unification. But nope, not in an election year, and most certainly not in this election year. Not one in which a facemask or a family outing can elicit (unfounded) judgment as to your political leanings.
Then I began to chuckle even harder. For like everything this year, such a trivial decision to grab a hat became a big deal. And, like everything else this year, I began to completely over-analyze it. Fortunately, like many other things this year, I also learned a valuable lesson.
It suddenly hit me: I completely lost track of the story line. Why was I grabbing the hat in the first place?
The kids and I were going to the park after the election and it was going to be hot and sunny.
OH, those kids. Those kids who provide both the perfect distraction and the most poignant snap back to reality.
I get so distracted and caught up in stuff I literally have no control over and forget to stop and just embrace this fleeting time with them. Instead of worrying about whether my red or blue hat will cause me to stand out, I need to focus on standing out to the most important people in my life. I’m fortunate to be able to exercise my right to vote, and I’m even more blessed to get to be mom to these incredible kiddos. No matter how this election plays out, I will continue to be grateful that I need to wear a hat, because I’m going to continue to spend sunny days outside with my loves.
So I proceeded to do what any good Boynton character would do and I grabbed a completely different, more outrageous, fun hat that didn’t match my outfit at all. Then I smiled as my mind flashed-forward to our future family antics.