My son, Ryan, who will be 22 months old in June, thinks that whenever he sees a hat lying around, you should be wearing it. And, it makes little difference to him if you already have another hat on. He expects you to wear ALL the hats that are around. All at the same time.
I'll give him props on knowing where hats go -- on your head. He even has his own hat. Not that he wears it, mind you, but it is his hat. Good luck trying to get him to wear his hat, as it most likely won't happen. But, if his hat is among the mix of other hats around, he thinks you should wear his hat, too. There is no regard in his mind if it fits or not. He just expects you to wear ALL the hats that are around. All at the same time.
When you stop and think about it, Ryan wanting me to wear all the hats that are laying around is a lot like what's expected of us in life. Lots of us are expected to wear many different hats in life, sometimes all at once.
As a parent, I'm his protector, his provider, his moral compass, his disciplinarian, his educator, his friend, and his Mr. Fix-It. I'm expected to provide for his safety, kiss his boo-boos when they happen, and set the boundaries while enabling him the liberties to explore his world. I make sure he has food when he's hungry, drink when he's thirsty, and a clean and dry diaper. Quite often, I have to do all or many of these things -- all at the same time.
In my job at the hospital, I'm a listener and talker, all at the same time. I provide compassionate care to my patients, while at the same time, putting on my clown nose (figuratively) and/or being a reference resource. I'm an educator and a trusted friend. I'm diplomatic when I need to be, and sternly authoritative at other times. I can move -- directly and immediately -- from the delivery room where I may have just helped a 26 week gestation premature baby gain a foothold on life, to taking care of someone's dying 90 year old grandmother who is losing their foothold on life.
Just as in the picture above where Ryan has placed four different hats on my head, I'm sure that each of us can relate to having to wear multiple hats, all at the same time, at one time or another. And honestly, I don't think there's a single person reading this that isn't expected to wear multiple hats at the same time, every day. You may not recognize it, but it happens to us all, every single day. If you don't see it, it just means that you haven't taken the time for that introspection.
Isn't it funny how a 22 month old infant can bring to light something that many of us rarely give a second thought to? We may not always wear those multiple hats gracefully every single day, but wear them we do -- whether we like it or not.
Until next month, I bid you peace, prosperity, serenity and happiness.