The Beauty of a Handshake

“Have you introduced yourself to the ladies?”

We were attending a Christmas Eve party at a favorite cousin’s house in New York. In addition to family, she had invited a few friends from her quilting guild. I had just begun talking with them, when my eight year old son darted into the room.

He skidded to a stop and immediately walked over to the couch where they were sitting, introduced himself and shook their hands. With a very serious face, he maintained excellent eye contact.

They were practically giddy.

Later at dinner, he discussed his concerns over Kelloggs’ plan to change over to vegetable dye for his favorite cereal, Froot Loops. He is certain, he told the ladies, that it will be bad for business.

But he had them at the handshake.

Every morning as my kids enter their school, the Head of School, a principal, a teacher or administrator is standing at the gate – in rain, sleet and snow – to shake their hands. Watching them before pulling out of the carpool line every morning, I have always wished it came more naturally to my guys. But the point of those morning exchanges is to get them there when it matters.

And a little boy with a good handshake is quickly forgiven when he transforms the couch into a trampoline during Christmas Eve dessert.

“He is adorable!”

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