When Sky came along, it was Roy’s turn to play stay-at-home parent. Every day, they spent time in anticipation of mommy coming home (which made me feel very special). Every day, there’d be a card or a handmade trinket waiting for me. But once in a while, they’d surprise me and personally deliver my gift. A visit to mommy’s office was always very exciting, but Sky would get impatient during the trip.
It was only 11 miles to the office, but distance and time are, of course, are beyond a toddler’s comprehension. One day, Roy came up with a clever way to address Sky’s impatience. He said, “Mommy’s office is five red lights away. You can count them and know when we’re there.”
Sky looked at him, “You are wrong, Daddy.”
Trying to explain, he said, “I have driven on that road many times and I have counted the number of traffic lights. You just trust Daddy, count the five times you see a red light and we’ll be there.”
Sky, narrowed her eyes, gave out a big sigh, emphasizing each word, “You. Are. Still. Wrong. You can’t drive through red lights to get anywhere. You have to wait till it is green. So there are five green lights to get to Mommy’s office.”
That conversation told us a lot about the person Sky was going to grow up to be. And she has reinforced in us the lesson of positive perspective over and over again. You can spend your life seeing red, the stuff that slows your pace, that cramps your style. Or you can live in anticipation of the green, the things that herald new opportunities and exciting options.