I am no jock, god knows. My favorite piece of sports equipment is the comfy armchair in which I slump to watch the Yankees. My wife is better, in that she actually likes getting her body moving, but I don’t think she’d call herself an athlete. And jock culture has, for most of my life, been something to avoid. That guy who got noogies in the locker room during gym class? Yeah, that’s me. The few athletic things I do like (tennis and such) are essentially one-person shows, or one-on-one competition, where I can’t let anyone down by my klutziness besides myself.
So where did my kid learn to high-five everyone?
He does it everywhere. To other kids, to André the doorman who we pass on Fifth Avenue every morning, to cash-register clerks. It’s adorable, and I imagine it’s easier for small hands, not yet fully coordinated, than a handshake or some other friendly gesture. But it’s a sign of independence. He’s never seen me do it (except in response to him), that’s for sure.
Next up for him: Bellowing WOO! when something exciting happens. (I don’t do that either.) And then father-son trips to the sports bar. And then, probably, he’ll arrange for a bunch of teenagers to give me a noogie somewhere, just to close the loop.