Waving Goodbye to Waving

My kids and I went to an amusement park yesterday. (Thanks Mom and Dad.) We had a great time making ourselves sick on ride after ride (oh wait, that was just me getting nauseous), eating junk food and layering on more clothing in proportion to the sun’s position in the sky.
Though we all enjoyed ourselves, my two-year-old and five-year-old seemed to have more fun than the rest of us. Why? They still wave at everyone they meet. My nine and eleven year olds have lost that particular habit.
Every time my two-year-old would get on a ride , she would look out and wave at everyone. Really everyone. Me, Grandma, the random lady nursing her baby on the bench, the ride operator, the dressed up witch, the man eating the dripping sandwich watching his kid, everyone she could see. And she would wave with full confidence that everyone would wave back to her. While most people did, some did not. Undeterred, she kept up her waving regimen for most of the day.

My five-year-old still waved, but mostly to people she knew. She has already lost her zest for waving at random strangers.
My nine-year-old wouldn’t initiate any waving at all. If I waved to her, she would wave back happily.
My eleven-year-old would pretend he hadn’t seen me wave. Then, after I kept it up long enough that he thought I was attracting way too much attention, he would reluctantly raise a hand, ever so briefly, just to get me to stop.
What makes us stop waving, stop acknowledging people? An adult who waves to all she meets is considered strange at best. Unless you happen to be in a parade. Then, you’re give a full pass to wave to your heart’s content.
I love the waving stages. They start with a baby bending her fingers, move on to bending the whole hand, and finally culminate in the entire arm getting in on the happy act.
I don’t know how much longer I’ll get to see my little ones wave at everyone. Hopefully, though, it will be quite some time before I have to wave goodbye to waving.


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