I have a secret wave.
I used to use it on my family, believing no one could see it but them.
At the time, I do believe my children fell for this and would smile a private smile right back, because no one could see it but me.
The wave involves putting the right hand under the chin and, well, waving, usually with a forward movement of all the fingers in unison. This covert action is usually done quite quickly with just a few forward motions of the fingers, before placing the offending waving hand rapidly back down. Pretty neat, hey?
The wave was a handy tool at school performances for example when it is simply not cool for the parent in the audience to distract the performer on stage (my child) by waving, lest the child on stage wave back and break the magic of being on stage.
And so, by way of letting them know that I could see them, I was proud of them and I loved them, I would throw them the secret wave.
It was also handy for my third son who attended Air Cadets. While on parade, he would march proudly past and I would throw the hand covertly under the chin and send that special mother-wave of appreciation and love. I could tell the way he was marching on that he had seen the wave and was steadfastly ignoring it the way all good Air Cadets should.
And now, I am proud to say, the Muller wave has been passed down to a new generation.
Only last week, while driving away from my son’s house did my two grand children stand out the front, each with their hand beneath their chins, waving and smiling. I realised that something similar had happened at another son’s place only recently and in fact the phenomenon had spread to all four children.
Had they conspired together? Or do family traditions have a time span for evolution? Suddenly the wave is being waved back to the original waver. The tide, (okay the waves within the tide, pun completely intended) had turned so to speak.
I received the chin waves with a swelling of the heart. We all knew the waves were only meant for me and that they were invisible to anyone else. I returned to them a private smile, safe in the knowledge that no one else could see it but them.