When the wind stole the hat

I was walking with the kids down Customhouse Quay on our way to Capital E. It was a windy day, and the wind caught B’s hat. It flew out into the middle of the very busy four lane road. I couldn’t possibly go and get it. But D was really upset – it wasn’t even his hat, but he was really stressed that the hat had blown away, wanted me to go and get it straight away, etc. I explained that looking after our bodies was more important than getting the hat and the traffic was too busy, but he wasn’t buying it, so I said we’d cross at the crossing and see if we could see it – never know, it might blow all the way across by then. We went to the crossing, and walked back along the other side until we spotted it. It was still too far away. We called to the wind to blow it back to us. We followed it as it went further south but no closer to us. D was very anxious this whole time, and railing against the injustice of it all (“oh no, Tāwhirimātea is never going to give it back to us! Naughty Tāwhirimātea! I don’t like you any more!”). The footpath ran out and the hat was not coming towards us. We stood under the pedestrian overbridge, the last viable spot to stand. The hat was only a few metres away and if I hadn’t had the kids with me I could have nipped out when the lights changed – but not with the kids. I was still hoping it might blow back to us, or at least that we’d wait until D came to accept the futility of the mission in his own time. Then this young guy saw us from the bridge, saw the hat, and quickly went and rescued it for us, delivering it back somewhat dustier than it left us but more or less unharmed. We thanked him and continued on to Capital E. As we were walking, I took the opportunity to spin this story as a positive tale of a stranger helping us out. D pipes up “yes, and that’s called tikkun olam, he tikkuned olamed for us when he rescued my brother’s hat!”




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