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Fun in the Car: Red Lights

March 11, 2020
How I learned how to "blow-out" red stop lights for my Dad

Dad had a way of making everything fun. That's why I always tagged along. As an adult, I learned he hated the interruption of red lights. But he made them fun for my sisters and I. When he'd stop at a light, he'd ask us, "should we just sit here, or do you want to go?" "But Dad, it's a red light!" we'd protest. "Well why don't you blow it out, he'd ask? Noooo, you can't we'd protest! And then he'd take a deep breath and blow like Superman at the stoplight until it changed to green! I already thought my Dad was Superman but that was Awesome!

So from then on, we asked him to blow out every stop light. Sometime he would, sometimes he wouldn't. We loved it! Eventually, he asked if we'd like to blow it out? You bet! So he'd tell us how to do it and not to stop until it changed. "You just have to blow hard enough," he said. And we'd blow like there were a hundred birthday candles, sometimes we'd have to take a second breath but we did it! But funny, it only worked when we were with Dad.

I can't recall what age I was when I figured it out, but I considered it a real right of passage to have cracked the mystery. If you haven't figured it out yet, Dad was keeping his eye on the opposite direction's traffic signal. He told us to blow when the other light turned yellow. Those times when we asked and he wouldn't do it, it was because he couldn't see when it switched to yellow in other stoplight.

When I had children, blowing out the red light came back to me. And of course, I pulled it on my girls. And sure enough they asked for it until they were old enough to figure it out. Those occasions are precious to me. In those moments I got to experience all over again, my own childhood emotions, in my children but through my Dad's eyes. It's such a blessing to experience those kinds of connections. So take your best childhood experiences and share them with your children. And just for fun, maybe blow out a red light or two. Kids love seeing their parents being awesome. They'll remember it when they have their own children to be awesome for.

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