When I was a kid, I’d ask my mom what her favorite color was. Sometimes because we were going to play a board game with a colored game token and she needed to choose a color. Sometimes because it’s a question kids like to ask… “What’s your favorite….”
Sometimes my mother would say something like, “I don’t know, just pick one for me.” Or “I don’t care.” Or just “I don’t know, what’s your favorite color?”
Those answers were obviously inappropriate and I would argue, tell her she had to pick one, and otherwise boss her into choosing. That’s what kids do.
And so, my mother would answer “green”. Every time.
As I got older, I was very sure my mother’s favorite color was green. Even now, if you asked me what her favorite color might be, I would immediately say “green”. If I’m looking for a gift for my mom that comes in different colors, I immediately gravitate toward green, though I know that this is silly. She might like green but it’s not really her favorite color in every situation. It never was. It was the answer she gave because, as a mom, it was a good, easy answer.
When I became a mom and was faced with the same questions from my kids, I’ve done it a little differently.
“Which color do you want to be?” I would choose green, unless I knew that a child playing would choose green (which was rare.)
“What’s your favorite color?” led me to respond with, “I don’t have a favorite color.” or “I like a lot of colors and it depends on why you’re asking.” But yes, my fall back if forced to choose a color for any question a child asks has always been green.
Because that’s what my mom said and my mom was smart.