In the kitchen the other day my four year old announces to his older brother to do the secret handshake. Though I want to watch the display, I know I am not allowed to watch. The last time I tried to, they froze up refusing to show me or else it is not so secret.
From my periphery I see my nine year old glances over at me. I continue to poor the glasses of milk for them as if I have nothing else to detain my attention. When he thinks it is safe, he does a high five/clapping game action followed by a modified fist bump and finished off with a pinky swear. (You can’t have a secret handshake without a pinky swear.)
I turn and catch the end. “What was that?”
“Secret handshake.” they say.
“Yeah, and you can’t do it.” says the four year old. The two boys lock arms around each other’s neck firm I will never know their secret.
But what they really have secretly done is bonded as one. In unity they have vowed to dedicate themselves to one another; for protection, to comfort in times of fear or to join in a roar of laughter.
Then a story is born inside me. I see a character in a book I have yet to write come alive. And I envision this character pulling strength from this memory. So I tuck it away in my projects file. I’m not sure when I will use it but when I do, I will build an amazing story from something so simple.
Where do your stories come from?