Seven year old Ryan was upset with me. Very upset. He held an Angry bird hat in his hand at a store, pleading his hard hearted mother to buy it for him. Mother was firm, the house could not handle one more hat. The cup (of hats) runneth over………in our house. Moreover the branded products are pricey. ‘Take the money out of my bank account!’ He offered. ‘No way, Jose! As your mother, it is my moral duty to teach you financial responsibility. I can’t let you throw your money away over something like this. The answer, still is no! Please don’t argue anymore!’ Mother was losing it, fast!
While waiting in front of the fitting rooms where his sister tried out school clothes, Ryan came up with one of his thoughts ‘Mom, I have thought of something!’
‘Wonderful! Would you like to share your thoughts?’
‘In every family, the mothers are harsh, dads are fun and kids are in training. I think mothers are red lights, dads are green lights and kids are yellow lights. The kids could go in any direction depending on who’s training them. The girl kids are trained by the moms so they grow up to be red lights while the boy kids are trained by dads, and they grow up to be green lights.’
‘Yes, see how Sahana is a cranky teenager, she is a yellow light almost turning red under your training. I will turn green because I am being trained by dad to be the fun one!’
After shopping for clothes, I took the children out for lunch and allowed them the ‘unattainable’! A soda to go with their meal. Not coke or pepsi, mind you, just an orange soda! My soda deprived children couldn’t believe their good luck. Ryan, whose way to the heart is through his stomach, was almost giddy with joy. It was then that I asked him the important question. ‘Do you still think mommy is the red light in the family?’ I know, I know…I went deep sea fishing.
The boy didn’t miss a beat, ‘Well, soda is bad for us, daddy doesn’t approve of it, but you are allowing us to do the wrong thing anyway. So I guess you are still the red light!’ I was so tempted to stomp my feet and sulk at that!!! I did it mentally just to get it of the system!
After lunch, we headed to the car, the red light in the family turned the ignition on to head back home. It was a no win day for the mom lady, one measly hat, or rather refusal to buy one measly hat had ruined me….for the day. That is when my aloof teenage daughter decided to shine a ray of sunlight on my dismal day, ‘Mom, just so you know, I don’t think you are a red light at all. You are a very green light for me!’ I gave her a big, wide grin and a grateful thank you. My pride was salvaged, somewhat. I looked at my son through the rear view mirror, since I was expecting a full blown debate over my red light/green light traits of character. But he had tuned us out already. He was sipping his orange drink cautiously with such obvious joy that I was about to turn green for him. But I have a feeling he wouldn’t have acknowledged my greenness unless I drove back to the store and bought him the hat. The regret for not getting his 59th angry bird hat was running deep.