NY Cap

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

This NY cap is the one my father put on every day before heading off to work. In my opinion he just wore it to cover up his thinning hair, but he’ll always deny it. He would wake promptly every morning at 5:30 A.M. and be out of the house by 6:00. An hour later, my mother would wake me up to get ready for school. This routine worked like clockwork except for Fridays; his day off. Every Friday, as I tied the laces to my shoes, I would see that same hat lying still on the mantel by the door.  

Every time the hat was gone, I knew my father was working for me and my family. I knew he didn’t want to wake up at 5:30 every morning. I knew he didn’t want to travel two hours to the Bronx. I knew how much he hoped that today was the day that someone would come in and actually buy something instead of “looking around”. I knew he didn’t want to wear the hat, but every day he put it on. 

That hat was my dad wanting a stable life for our family. He wanted our only worries to be the homework that we needed to finish every night. The lack of sleep, the fear that he wasn’t going to make enough that week, or maybe find another job were all the burdens he put on his own shoulders when he put on that hat in the morning.  That hat is my father putting us before himself because he felt it was his responsibility. I want him to know that I understand what putting on the hat meant and that he is the reason I am able to go to school and eventually put on a hat of my own for my family. 

– Rafi Khandaker

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant