Green Means Stop

Now that my dad is in his 70s, and I am on the light side of middle aged, I have the ability to gauge and appreciate statements of wisdom.

by Shari Allison • More.com Member { View Profile }

I was a nasty teenager, and I was good at it. My dad has always been a pictorial speaker, and when I was in my teens I hated it. One day I arrived home and my sister, who is a year younger then me, came running out the front door.

“Mom and dad said we could go get frozen yogurt,” she said and hopped in the car, so off we went.

When we returned a couple hours later my dad was standing in the garage and giving us the evil eye. It was lecture time. I could feel it. “You girls left and didn’t even lock up the house. The back door was open. We could have been robbed,” he fumed.

I was quick to my own defense. “I didn’t know," I said. "I didn’t even get out of the car. She came running out of the house and said it was okay to go get frozen yogurt.” I replied with my face full of innocence.

Now that my dad is in his 70s, and I am on the light side of middle aged, I have the ability to gauge when the pictorial statement of wisdom will come. Back then I was impatient and had yet to learn the general skill of timing.

“Just because the light is green, it doesn’t mean you go,” my dad would say.

To a teenager this was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard, and I told him so. Big dumb dad trying to punish me for something I didn’t do. Right and wrong, fair and unfair were still playing a large role in my life back then.

As time has passed I realize I have proceeded through numerous green lights without checking to see if the coast is clear. The unnecessary snide comment made about someone who turns out is suffering from some horrible ailment. Throwing a fit only to find out later I was completely in the wrong. Continuing in a relationship even after my peripheral vision spots a MAC truck in the form of an ex-girlfriend heading for me.

When I think back to that time and how dad was looking out for our family’s welfare I should have taken comfort in his words. However, at the time I could only think how retarded it would be for a robber (not knowing the back door is unlocked) to jump over our tall locked gate knowing he would be greeted by three Doberman’s.

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