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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Woman's Place

So, this is a story from my weekend--

I was in Babetta's, my Local Yarn Store, buying some lace yarn because I'm saying, PI shawls. They're a thing.

 Anyway-- as I was making my purchase, aware that Mate and the kids were in the car, waiting for me, a family walked in.

Indian, dressed in their Sunday best--Mom in a pant suit, Dad with a tie and jacket, grown daughter wearing a spectacular silk sheathe, gold silk wrap, and knee-high boots. (She was stunning--I'm always surprised when people just go for it in color and style in our dusty corner of the world. San Francisco? I wouldn't have batted an eyelash, but here? She was glorious.)

Anyway, they walked in, looking for coffee.

"Oh, do they have other things besides coffee?"

"Yes," said Gustine, Babetta's niece who works Sundays. "We have cookies and some biscotti, and Italian sodas."

"Oh, good," said Mom. "So it's a good coffee place."

By this time Daughter had looked around a bit--and Babetta's is pretty big, with a lot to offer. Spinning, weaving, yarn bags and accessories, class fliers--the store space used to be a gym, and seriously--it's packed.

"No, Maman--it's more than just a coffee place."

"Yes," Mom said, looking around. "It's a woman's place."

And Dad, hearing this--and taking a look himself, took a respectful step outside to sit in front of the store in the chairs and tables Babetta keeps there.

I paid for my purchases and left, and thought about that sort of magical understanding between the women, who saw the colors and the crafts and the things of interest, and Dad, who knew it wasn't something he'd be interested in, but wanted to give his wife and daughter their own time without his pressure for them to hurry.  I thought of the daughter's glorious silk Sunday best, and the perfect, accented voices.

And I hoped there is always room in the world for what is different, and always room in all of us to enjoy the differences and celebrate the things we have in common--like womens' places and bright colors and coffee.

I know the world is scary right now--I am afraid for friends, for students in my children's school, for kids my husband coaches, for every ally I know. The day before the trip to Babetta's I'd had a chance to talk to Mate's assistant coach on Squish's team. He is African American--and the captain of the S.W.A.T. team on the local police force, and he and his family cried on November 8th too. He was afraid for his children--but he and my husband were out, coaching their girls, making the day as bright and happy and healthy as they possibly could.

We need to hold on to those small good moments of peace when we see them. They're what we're fighting for.

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