New Hat Means Mom Has Joined The Revolution


Look at the hat my mother knitted me! And not only did she knit one for me, she also knitted one for my sister and my daughter. She’s in the process of adapting the instructions so she can knit one for my granddaughter. She’s 88 years old, and she’s got “revolution feeva!”

“I had to go to Walmart when I ran out of pink,” she confessed. “I felt a little funny in line, surrounded by all those shopping carts piled high with stuff, and me with just a little ball of yarn.”

She felt funny, but she did it! And it turns out, she should’ve bought more. Turns out she had to go back. Turns out one ball of yarn wasn’t enough.

Because mom is churning out hats faster than the Burlington Coat Factory! She downloaded the online instructions last Thursday, and we all had these internet sensation hats by Saturday, even though we live in three different states. My sister and daughter wore theirs to the Women’s March in Los Angeles. I wore mine to the potato chip aisle at Publix. Their statement was, “Let our voices be heard!” My statement was, “I’m hungry for potato chips!”

I wonder if dad knows what mom is doing as they sit together in the family room night after night, separated only by a side table, a lamp and the remote. As he dozes during the news, does he realize what Madame Defarge is up to over there?

Remember Madame Defarge? She was Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities villain, the one who watched people be hanged during the French Revolution as she vengefully knitted the encoded names of her enemies — those she was suggesting as potential hanging candidates — into a stunning lap robe.

While dad dreams of “Making America Great Again,” mom dreams of pink hats for everyone. The big difference is that his snore is the sound of contentment. The click-click-click of her needles is the sound of restlessness… and action! Who knows what power slogans she’s encoding in those adorable cat-ears?

Perhaps I need to take a closer look at my hat.

You know, mom has always been an excellent role model. And it hasn’t been easy. The minute my dad proposed, she knew she was heading into dangerous territory. A “mixed marriage” back in 1950 was nothing to sneeze at. My parents were — and are — of different heritages, different religions and different political parties. Yet we “kids” grew up in an atmosphere of peace and tolerance. They showed us it can be done.

That being said, the peace and tolerance — at least on mom’s side of the table — seem to have run out. Dad had to empty the dishwasher all by himself last week. He has had to make his own lunch ever since the election. And I’d bet my last nickel that it was dad — naïve, unsuspecting Dad — who innocently brought the envelopes containing the pink hats to the post office with strict instructions and just enough money to send them overnight mail.

Has mom snapped? Or has she come to her senses?

If she starts on a cat-ear hat for the dog, it could spell trouble. But, if not, she’s merely energized and purposeful, like she says. She has been this terrific role model all my life, so I’m watching her carefully.

But so is Rover.