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What Do I Do With My Hands?

Gavie hikingI realized today, while stand in the school pick-up line, that I have no idea what to do with my hands.

Being a dad–standing in these lines–I feel eyes on me. It may or may not be true, but it sure feels that way. Some days, they seem to be judging me, sizing me up, and waiting for me to slip up, which would prove that dads suck at this parenting thing).

So, I find myself being self-aware/conscious while waiting more often than I care to admit. I try not to look too intimidating or scary. Maybe, they’ll even think I look inviting and friendly–in a non-creepy sort of way.

Yes, it’s true… I have been told that the intent “scowl” on my face can look quite intimidating.

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I really don’t see it, but then again, I can’t really see my face at those contemplative times–just thinking, or waiting, or wondering “what next?”  But, I don’t want to look scary. I don’t want people to feel that they have to steer clear.

So, since becoming a dad, I have worked on those facial muscles–avoiding what I imagine must be causing that scowl-mean facial gestures. If you ask me, I’ve got it down! Inviting and not at all creepy! (YEA ME !!).

Or, it could be the beard?

So, what do I do with my hands?

  • Well I could fold them in front of me, but that looks weird.
  • Behind my back? Yep, that would look even more weird.
  • What about folding my arms? Well, that takes us back to looking intimidating again.
  • Maybe leaning up against a wall with one hand in my pocket; the other on my hip? Nope, back to creepy.
  • How about one hand on my hip; the other in my pocket or belt loop?
  • Maybe, both hands on my hips (super-hero style) that says: “Hey come talk to me” … Yeah, that would look weird too.
  • I’ve got it… Why not put one hand in my back pocket; the other in my front? Or, maybe both hands in my back pockets? That says inviting… right ?

All this is going through my mind while I stand here in a school pick-up line. You’d have thought that it’d be worth of waiting. Sadly, it’s just 5-whole minutes.

I realize it may not be how they are seeing me (it’s really more how I feel they are seeing me). For most, they are there for a quick pick-up (and they don’t even noticing I’m there). It’s all in my head. After all, who really cares what I am doing with my hands.

By the way, for those of you who do care what I decided to do with my hands? Well, I decided to channel my inner Alanis and go with:

“Got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving the peace sign”

If you’re a  dad standing in the school pick-up line–with one hand in your pocket and the other giving out a peace sign, that says “inviting and totally not creepy”… Nailed it !

So how do you see yourself ?

How do you see me?

These are the questions to ask ourselves…

And, if you see a dad (heck or even a mom) standing in the school pick-up line (and they’re obviously having a hard time deciding what to do with their hands), take a moment to say “Hi.”

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