Friday, January 14, 2011

Fives and Fist Bumps: The Lost Art of the Best Friend Handshake

::Scene opens with a dark stage. Fog starts to roll out and an eerie red glow starts to show. Then, from the sky, you hear a booming voice::

Voice: Since the dawn of time, mankind has used its hands for communication. From the first pointing of a finger, to the first peace sign, to American Sign Language, the hand has been an important part of communication. Then, born in the hip hop era of the 90's, was dap. Following dap in the 90's was the fist bump and the finger guns. Strolling right on in with the hype of Y2K was the fist bump. Out of all of these, one still remains a sacred art. Practiced by few, but mastered by those. This for of communication is well planned out, well practiced, and never EVER forgotten. This is the lost art of the best friend hand shake.

::Epic music plays. Like that of the imperial march. Thunder sounds and light flashes all around::

Okay, I know what you are thinking already. "Ummmm .. uhhhhh ... okay? Not so exciting there guy with the whole 'panned out like a play' thing you're doing." To this I shall ask you: Do you have toddlers?

As a dad, it feels super awesome when your kids consider you a friend and playmate. My kids and I play in a Toy Story tent, we play cars, and run around like crazy. We have our own little games and our own little songs that we sing together. Always such a terrific feeling to see them smile, hear them laugh, and want to do it all again and again. Well, until my knees start to hurt, and my back is sore from crouching in that small tent for too long. We always have such fun when getting into serious play mode.

Both of my kiddos also have something just between myself and them. We have best friend hand shakes. Each child has their own handshake with me. Little Man's goes like this: High give, fist bump, handshake, and finger guns while saying "YEAH!" in a manly tone. Little Girl's is like this: High five and then fist bump with the thumb up and saying "oh yeah". This is a must do at some point during each day. With Little Girl it is mostly at night when I am getting her to sleep. It is a part of our typical bedtime routine. Little Man however is game for the handshake anytime he is in a good mood.

People say all the time that is is important that we are dads before we are friends. I very much agree with that statement. The only thing I have to say with it is that it is still a very big part of your child's life, to also be their friend and their playmate. You might not ever be their best friend, but they will know that you are here when they want to play, and that it is a joy to do so. I never miss a great opportunity to let loose and become a kid again. It keeps me young, keeps me smiling, and it keeps me involved. My children know they can come to me when they are scared, sad or hurt, and daddy will be there to make it better. They also know that I am there when they want to be chased, want to play house, or want to jump up and down on the couch until they hiccup. Daddy is there, handshake and all, always ready for whatever they have in store.

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