Earlier this month we enjoyed the Georgia National Fair and all of its splendor. Rides, exhibits, music, food, friends, fun–every bit of it. During one of our visits (yep, we went more than once this year–ALL the fun, y’all), we were wandering through the commercial exhibit hall. Cooter stopped to look at the piano in one of the booths.
As he looked at the keys, searching for middle C, the owner came up and, noticing Cooter’s baseball cap, spoke to him. “Hey, are you a Clemson fan?” Then he looked up at me, “Are you a Clemson fan?”
I shrugged and said, “I’m not, not really,” and smiled back. The good-natured salesman laughed and said, “Then why on earth would you let him wear that hat?”
I laughed. “That’s just how we roll.”
The truth is that Cooter found the hat at the GW Boutique, and he really liked it. His friend is a Clemson fan, so he cheers the team along with his friend. Am I a Clemson fan? Is the Fella? Is anyone else in our house? Not really. But it doesn’t keep us from loving Cooter in his Clemson fan-dom. He’s becoming his own person. He IS his own person. He is learning and living out his story, and he’s forming his own opinions about sports teams and what books are his favorites to read (biographies and history and oh, Captain Underpants) and what matters most to him. We’ve been studying the beginning of this country and how the government was formed, and so he’s even been venturing into forming his own political beliefs.
On all of these things–sports teams, books, what matters most, and even political beliefs–there are things we have in common, things we believe the exact same about (Captain Underpants not being one of them, you understand), and there are things we absolutely disagree on.
And yet, just this morning, that little imp told me I was his favorite Mama. And while, I’m the only nominee in this category–it’s not an award he had to give. So, despite our lack of commonality on several things (the need for him to do his science lesson being a major one), he loves me.
And I adore him right back.
Perhaps what I should have told the piano man back at the Fair is, that in this family, it’s okay to like and think and believe different things. That’s why it’s okay that my oldest loves music I don’t really care for, that my middle child loves UGA (though I’m a Tech Fan), and that my baby boy is a huge fan of all things football and enjoys books I am not really interested in.
And it really is all okay.
Because at the end of the day, we are all right here together. Living in our own little corner of this great big world. Growing and learning and sometimes changing our thoughts and beliefs and preferences as life takes us on down the road. And whatever it takes for us to live and love together, that’s what counts the most. Being okay with our differences and not only allowing but encouraging each other to have them–even if it’s cheering for a team I could care less about–that’s what keeps us going. That’s what matters most. In our house, our neighborhood, our town, our country, our world. For all of us.
I hope you get to wear the hat you want. Because it’s your head, your journey, your story. And I hope folks love you just the same.
Love to all.