I’ve been asked upon occasion about a strange little tradition that has developed between the boys and myself. As many of you know, I’m a big fan of traditions – particularly intensely personal ones. The more unusual the better.
In this case, the routine goes like this: I stand arm’s reach away from one of the boys and reach out with my index finger. He stretches out his arm and touches the tip of his index finger to the tip of my index finger. We wiggle them a little bit and both say “aaaahhhhh”.
Bizarre, isn’t it?
Last year C went through a phase where he seemed to be sick constantly. Unfortunately, I have proved to be particularly susceptible to my kids’ diseases. So, I was sick just as much.
One morning, I noticed that C was sniffling again, and I just couldn’t bring myself to hug him. I know it sounds horrible, but after spending a couple months bouncing from one nasty head cold to another, I was just starting to be healthy again.
Fortunately, C was already in the minivan when the hug issue came up.
Desperate to not be that cold-hearted bastard who rejects his son’s hug, I stood way back and pretended I couldn’t come any closer. Instead, I reached forward as far as I could. He grinned and reached towards me. Our fingers touched, and I was inspired. I pressed his index finger with mine and called out “finger love!”
He laughed and we did it again.
This evolved into the current tradition of reaching forward, touching fingers and saying “aaahhhhh”. We do it all the time now, with one or the other of us calling out “finger love” and reaching out. N has joined in the game and I’m hoping that soon they’ll start doing it with each other.
And yes, I do still hug my children.
Just not so much when they’re sick.