My 7 year old son always takes two hats to school. I take one out each night, he grabs a second one each morning as he heads off to school. No hat, no outside play is the rule, so one hat makes sense, but two? I have always assumed it was a mistake, that he didn't realise that there was already one in his school bag. It's been going on for quite some time, so I asked him about it this week. His answer floored me.
Me: Why do you always take two hats to school?
Him: Don't you know? So if one of my friends forgets their hat, they can borrow one of mine for the day and then they can play outside and won't be left out.
After I pulled myself back together post bursting with pride at his giant golden heart, I reflected on his sense of community and innate understanding of inclusion. I was left wondering, will it be his generation that won't stand for exclusion and will bring about change in the world, or is it something that will leave him as he storms and norms through all that is in front of him in growing up.
I made a pledge, there and then, that I would do all that I could to keep his giant golden heart full of this sense of community and inclusion forever. I'm also left with a new understanding that inclusion is as simple as always having a spare hat.