Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let's Shake On It

This is where you learn about what a "weird" parent I am.

In our family we have a rule about sports. After every practice or game, our children shake their coaches' hands and thank them.

Our school has a culture built around handshaking and I love it. Every morning their teachers meet the kids at the doors to their classrooms, shake their hands and exchange a few words of greeting.

At the end of every violin practice or lesson my kids take a bow and say, "Thank you for teaching me," in both English and Japanese. It is a common practice among Suzuki trained kids and my kids have been doing it for years.

(I then answer them, "Thank you for working so hard," because it is the work that matters, not the talent or outcome. I don't say it in Japanese though.)

Why shouldn't the same courtesy reign in the world of sports?

After all, many, if not most of these coaches volunteer their time.

So, my son, the king of the handshake (you should have seen the General's face at my husband's promotion when my son introduced himself and stuck out his hand for a handshake) wholeheartedly believes in our sports rule.

In the locker room after every hockey game or practice, he goes up to his coach and shakes his hand, without any prompting from me.

His coach is used to it now, but was obviously confused the first couple of times. My son usually says, "Thanks for a great game," or something similar. And the coach always has trouble coming up with a reply.

I think that the other kids on his team think he is a freak. First he's got the weird teeth and braces thing going on right now. Then, he's not very good at hockey. And now he's shaking hands! They look at him weird.

But I'm okay with it. It might make him stick out. But I'd rather he stick our for good manners then anything else.

It's all about values, people.

So, last Monday my son had his very first rehearsal with the orchestra he auditioned for. He had been looking forward to it for months.

At the end of rehearsal, I was distracted by my daughter for a second as she headed to her own rehearsal. When I looked up to find the boy, he was up by the podium shaking the conductor's hand.

She laughed a bit so when my son made his way back to me, I asked what he had said.

"I said, 'Thank you for a good practice. I hope to see you in the future.'"

Never mind that we see her every Thursday when we go to group class and every Monday night for orchestra. He hopes to see her in the future.

Sometimes I don't know whether to be embarrassed by my little future politician or incredibly proud of him.

He is kind of weird. A lot like me. But he likes himself just fine, and I'm okay with that.

No comments: