For as long as I can remember, the kids and I will fist bump each other when we are walking past one another. It all started a long time ago, back when the kids were in car seats facing the rear of the car. I would be driving and if I didn’t hear from them I would reach my hand back there just to check on them.
Once they got a little older I would continue doing this in the car, adding a little flare to it. We would fist bump then blow it up or fist bump and then slowly bring our hands down, like the itsy bitsy spider would do when the rain would fall.
I still do it in the car now, and my kids are OLD now. 14 and 11, but I still do it just to check in. If we are all in the car and there happens to be an argument going on, I know, hard to believe we might disagree on something; two very strong willed girls and a Mom can fight about almost anything. Can start as simply as who has shotgun in the car and quickly escalate to the time one of them was 5 and Dad called them a bad word because he didn’t know how to stop the screaming. But, even while one of these “End of the World” fights is happening, I just reach back and give a fist bump. Doesn’t solve anything, doesn’t end the fight, just a gesture of good will. It is just a small reminder that even though in the moment we might hate each other, that it is the four of us against the world forever.
When I am sitting on the couch watching a show or something and I hear one of the kids start to move I immediately put my hand up expecting a fist bump. They walk by me and regardless of what they are carrying they stop and give a quick fist bump. It’s a stupid little tradition for us. No words are spoken at all, just a small connection for us. There is nothing profound; none of life’s biggest mysteries are solved during this one second fist bump. But, it is a small victory for me each time, just a reminder that they currently do not fully hate their Dad yet.
As a Dad I have absolutely no clue what I am doing 100% of the time. Lots of times I just get lucky with whatever advice I give. My kids are smart, so they are able to filter out my bad advice or ideas and make the right choice lots of the time. Kids are kids, obviously they will make little and big mistakes. In my house, my wife is the glue. She is the one they go to when their world is broken. She puts them back together and is molding them into smart, caring young women.
I’m just here attempting to not screw that up every day, one Dad joke or fist bump at a time.
I love these small moments we have. I don’t know how I got so lucky to be included in their lives, but I’ll forever be the luckiest guy in the room as long as they are in it.