I knocked on the door. An elderly woman opened it.
“I saw your sign out front,” I said. “’Free Children’s Hats’. I was wondering if…”
“Yes, yes,” she said. “Please come in.”
The woman ushered me into a small dining room. There on the table was an assortment of brightly colored cotton hats, just the right size for my son.
“Help yourself, Hon,” the woman said.
“They’re all so nice,” I responded. “I don’t know which one to choose.”
“Well, what dream do you have for your child? Each hat was sewn with a special dream tucked inside.” Her words touched a wound in my heart.
“My son was born brain damaged. He has no dreams.”
“Of course he does–he has yours,” said the woman. “Tell me, what month was he born in?”
The woman selected a hat. It was blue, green and white.
“Here is a July hat. If he wears this hat, he will have your dreams for him.”
I grew angry.
“How can that be? My first dream was that he would be born normal.”
“Oh, but he is,” said the woman. “See this fabric? It’s called ‘batik.’ It’s dyed with a special process so that there is no right or wrong side of the material. Both sides are beautiful even though the colors and patterns are slightly different. When your son wears this hat, people will see that he is normal from a different perspective.”
“Not everyone,” I said. “We both know that there are those who will mock and ridicule his differences.”
“Ah, but that’s the power of this hat. It makes the scorner look foolish because it exposes his small and stunted heart.”
I looked more closely at the hat.
“I see what you mean. This is a wonderful hat. All children should be wearing them.”
The old woman smiled.
“Most children do," she said.
I felt something on top of my head. I reached up and touched it. It was a hat.