I’m not sure how many waves of fashion popularity fluorescence factually claims, but at the risk of aging myself, I’m pretty sure I’ve witnessed three of the four.  In elementary school, my little brother was quite the proud porter of neon, head to toe.  At the time, I certainly appreciated the form of fluorescence, but the function?  I did not yet appreciate the true value of colors that rarely exist in nature.

But now, now we are a loud and proud Day-Glo family.  A few years ago, Jake and Nate received some brightly phosphorescent active wear which fit the then current definition of pre-kinder cool.  It didn’t take me long to realize how genius these little matching athleisure suits were.  The boys could be hundreds of yards away across a beach, a field, an amusement park and I could spot them in an instant.  No longer did I find myself welling with that bit of panic one feels when one hasn’t seen their child for a half hour within the Happy Hollow Redwood Lookout.  I had a new plan… and it was working.

Patagonia is currently running a campaign that promotes letting children learn and take risks.  I find this concept and the sentiment and history behind it fascinating to think about… that said I am not going to let my children balance along cliff ledges as they model $80 puffer jackets.  I do however, think that the resurgence of fluorescence has allowed us to give the boys longer reigns to roam.

I’ve also noticed another interesting side-effect.  Both Jake and Nate have really settled into school and filled their friendship coffers.  I’ve been especially surprised how we seem to end up on school grounds and no matter where we are, their friends appear out of the woodwork, almost knocking them down with their enthusiasm.  Meanwhile I don’t even see them coming.  One moment we’re alone, and the next moment, Nate is sheepishly under a pile of loyal fans.  And then it dawned on me.  Just like me, these little compatriots can see us coming from miles away.  Across a playground of primary colors, Jake and Nate are like two little buoys, bobbing along for their friends to literally grab hold of.

Two weekends ago we were at Nate’s soccer game– we’re the Yellow Jackets with our traditional black and gold striped uniforms.  We were playing a team sporting the latest in neon yellow jerseys.  James leans over to me conspiratorially and says, “They should call themselves the Highlighters.”  Ha!  We both laugh at his clever wit.

Tweet!  The CoachRef blows his whistle for the throw-in and yells, “Highlighters’ ball.”


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