In which green means go

It’s often been said that witnessing your child grow up is akin to scientific experiment – an intense longitudinal observational study with no control group.

As a fan of language in all of its nuances, it’s been fascinating watching Joshua learn to talk. He just turned three last Friday, and he’s already a dab hand at rudimentary conversations (in which body parts, wheels and being “up and down” tend to feature prominently).

He still hasn’t quite mastered all the colors, but red and green (“geen”) came first and remain his most reliable.

Signs of the season

Signs of the season

This evening on our walk home from nursery, we paused as usual to appreciate the temporary traffic lights propped up in the road to direct an alternating one-way flow of traffic around construction works.

“Green means go,” he informed me as the lights changed and the queue of grumpy cars slowly trundled up the hill.

Then Joshua picked up two fallen leaves and explained to me that they were lights, a red one and a green one. I tried to imagine the sheer number of neurons involved in recognizing and expressing such a complex metaphor, but ultimately failed.

Like pretty much everything else involved in the existence of this little human, let’s just chalk it up to a miracle.

About Jennifer Rohn

Scientist, novelist, rock chick
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