There are two things I never learned how to do–to whistle and to snap. I’ve never been able to do either one despite good efforts and despite how easily it seems to come to other people. I always thought maybe I have mis-shaped fingers and a fat tongue or something, especially when I found out my little sister can’t whistle or snap either.
However, my little 6-year-old daughter certainly got the snapping gene. She can snap both hands to the rhythm of a whole song, loud as can be. It’s just amazing to see how easily it comes to her. She can snap so fast and loud that it sounds like fire crackers going off. She says her daddy taught her. I know I certainly didn’t.
Anyway, my little sister spent the night with us this weekend and we got into a snapping session. Instead of us teaching A’Dell something new, she was teaching us something new.
After watching us try and fail over and over again, she took a deep breath, and shook her little head. She continued to sit there patiently though for a good half hour, tutoring us on snapping. Then finally, she took my hand into her little hands, and positioned my fingers just right.
“Okay, mom, put your fingers like this and then just go like this,” she said.
It was such a funny moment, to feel her take my hand in hers that way, to teach me something. You realize at that moment how closely your children model your behavior. She took my hand in hers and gently showed me exactly what to do, the same way I taught her how to use a spoon when she was a baby, or put in a puzzle piece when she was a toddler, or how to steer our horse around when she was old enough to ride. It made me think of that Rodney Atkins country song, “I’m watching you,” about the little boy that mimics his dad’s behavior.
And with A’Dell’s tender, loving care and help, I snapped loud enough to hear for the first time in my life. I got a couple more good snaps before my fingers stopped cooperating again. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
We laughed and giggled together for nearly half an hour while little missy tried to teach the skill she has mastered so well. It’s funny how something so simple and silly can be so fun.
Remember, those kids are watching you!