My Mother's Secret
12 August 2012
I have precious few memories of my mom, but I'll share this one with you: When I was very young - three, four, five - my mother had a little game she played with us girls, my sister and me. It was like a magic trick for us, and we had no idea how she did it, but it worked every. single. time:
Sitting at a red light while driving - er, not driving - she knew JUST the right moment to count to three with us, and then BLOOOOOOW the red light to green, so that we could go again. Sometimes we had to wait just a few seconds for the countdown, sometimes a minute or two, but Mom always knew that magic moment.
I had forgotten about that game she played with us after she died a couple years later, until it was my turn to drive. And then, duh, it dawned on me, how she figured out her little secret: you can see the lights on the cross streets turning from green to yellow! A-ha! I've found myself, even when I'm alone in my car, blowing out the red lights ever since. (Sometimes I have to breathe twice; yellow lights must've gotten longer in the interim! Either that, or my lung function is subpar. We'll go with the former.)
Of course, I have played this game with my own children, too. Not every time, however we'd been doing it more often lately. My kids are older and savvier than I was, though, and they were catching on to the game. So I told them about my mother's trick, and how I thought she had magic up her sleeve, and how amazed I always was.
I think it's okay that they know the secret. You know, it doesn't make blowing out the red light any less fun. And now we're all doing the magic together. I give that a green light.